Bernal, Froome, Quintana: TotA 2021 promises a great show

The two Colombians and the 4-time Tour de France winner raise to five Grand Tour winners taking part in the Tour of the Alps (April 19-23), joining Nibali and Yates. Many contenders for Sivakov’s throne at the TotA start in Brixen/Bressanone

Ever since the official presentation was staged the last January, the Tour of the Alps promised a star-studded edition, from April 19th to 23rd. However, the best Grand Tour specialists in the cycling world keep on enlisting in the stage race organized by G.S. Alto Garda, under the aegis of the Euregio Tirol-Südtirol/Alto Adige-Trentino. From Bressanone/Brixen to Riva del Garda, five are the TotA 2021 stages promising a great show.

The euro-regional cycling event will welcome five Grand Tour winners. Joining the ones already announced, Brit Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) and Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), will be 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) winner of Giro d’Italia in 2014, and 4-time Tour de France king Chris Froome (Israel Start-up Nation).

A group of great champions with 15 Grand Tours under the belt, ready to show off to a worldwide audience. Bernal, Froome, Quintana, Nibali and Yates will be among the leading contenders for the TotA crown worn by Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers). The Russian rider will also take part in the euro-regional stage race to try and repeat his success. The British squad wants to proceed on the road paved by the former Team Sky with a strong lineup, including Colombian Daniel Martinez and Trentino-native Gianni Moscon.

After a lowkey seasonal start, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) will be at the first South Tyrolean start of the Tour of the Alps. The Frenchman holds excellent memories with the euro-regional race: second in 2017 and first in 2018. Third-placed in the last Vuelta a España, British climber Hugh Carthy (EF Education First-Nippo) is one of the most expected riders at the Tour of the Alps, as well as Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation). The Irishman will take part in the Italian/Austrian race for the first time in his career, instead of flying in Belgium to face the Flèche Wallonne.

In his history, Tour of the Alps thrust many youth rising stars. This year, the spotlights are pointed on Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates), whilst Bernal and Carthy have already had their breakout, though belonging to the same generation.

Among the outsiders, the first leader of the 2018 Tour of the Alps Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Ilnur Zakarin (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana-Premier Tech) and Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First-Nippo) will try to upset the plans of the favorites.

Another novelty in the start list involves a turnover among two teams: Team Movistar had to postpone the debut at the Tour of the Alps due to the UCI calendar’s variations leaving its place to fellow World Team Ag2R-Citroën. The French outfit will line up athletes of international stature like Tony Gallopin, Lilian Calmejane and Italian Andrea Vendrame.

On Sunday, April 18th, Brixen/Bressanone will welcome the Tour of the Alps, hosting the preliminary operations and the opening press conference. On Monday, April 19th, the athletes will start from beautiful Piazza Duomo for stage 1, ending in Innsbruck.