Here’s another route for testing your endurance: 157 km through the Pesaro countryside and the Tuscan Apennines, to return to the Adriatic coast with a 2000-metre change in level.
You leave Riccione in the direction of Coriano, and then continue towards Croce. Here, there’s a short reprieve, enabling you to draw breath before the long climb to the Cantoniera Pass. You descend to Osteria Nuova, where you’ll have completed 15 km. For the next 40 km, the road will consist of a series of long downhill sections, with short stretches where you can recuperate, taking you through Taverna, Mercatino Conca, Montecerignone and Carpegna.
Just before Carpegna, a couple of km will allow you to draw breath and prepare for the strenuous climb to the Cantoniera Pass at a height of 1100 metres. The 5 km from Carpegna to the top seem interminable.
You descend swiftly for 3 km to Miratolo, and then continue towards Pretella where the gradients become steeper, so take care!
The road will be in your favour till Montecchio (at 130 km), having left behind you Sestino, Sestola, Belfiore, Lunano, Mercatale and Casinina.
There’s another short climb to Tavullia, and then the final 17 km will be a doddle through San Giovanni in Marignano and Cattolica until Riccione.