The epidemic emergency forced Tour of the Alps’ organizing company GS Alto Garda to call off the 2020 edition, but the beating heart of the project, the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Euro-region, confirmed to be the ultimate land of election for top-notch cycling. It is not by chance that six UCI World Tour teams identified the Euro-regional territory as the ideal location for their post-COVID’ training camps in view of the big appointments of a compressed season.
By now, Vincenzo Nibali can feel at home at Passo San Pellegrino. In Val di Fassa the Sicilian rider laid the foundations for his most important triumphs, and once again Trentino was his choice to set up the top goals of the season: Giro d’Italia and the Road World Championships in Switzerland. The Trek-Segafredo‘s line-up for the Giro d’Italia joined their leader, from Giulio Ciccone to Gianluca Brambilla, from Trentino-born Nicola Conci to Vincenzo’s younger brother, Antonio Nibali.
Along with climbs, Trentino also offers altitude plateaus to train power and resistance with a view to the Classics. The best team in the World for one-day races, Deceunick-Quickstep, also chose the Val di Fassa to foster their ambitions for another charge at thr ‘Monuments’ with leaders, Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels and Zdenek Stybar, whilst the Belgian rising star Remco Evenepoel will try to test himself at the Giro d’Italia.
“The training camp in Val di Fassa was a great success – the Technical & Development Director of the Deceuninck-Quickstep Team Ricardo Scheidecker explained. – We trained well, it is important for us to prepare ourselves at high altitude for the races. The boys were happy and motivated”. Same opinion for the sprinter, Sam Bennett: “Val di Fassa is an incredible place, with breathtaking roads and landscapes. This is an area that lends itself to hiking activities. It was a fantastic and productive training camp”.
A few kilometers north of Passo San Pellegrino, a Bahrain-McLaren Team’s selection trained at Passo Pordoi. The team under the guidance of Rod Ellingworth faced the Dolomites climbs on the border between Trentino and South Tyrol: in addition to the Passo Pordoi, Sellajoch/Passo Sella and Grödner Joch/ Passo Gardena.
Instead, Peter Sagan’s Bora-hansgrohe (the Slovakian will take part in the Giro d’Italia for the first time in his career), Team Sunweb and a Team Jumbo-Visma‘s selection chose Tyrol.
Since mid-June, Sagan and his teammates have moved to Sölden, in the Ötztal, one of the most fascinating green lungs in Austria. Even in this area of Tyrol there is no shortage of great climbs, such as the Rettenbach and the Timmelsjoch/Passo del Rombo. The Austrian ascents also provided the setting for Emanuel Buchmann‘s 7 hours and 28 minutes Everesting, though not valid as a record of the special challenge.
“Our partnership with Ötztal is giving great results – Bora-Hansgrohe Team Manager Ralph Denk said. – The training conditions are perfect both at high altitude and in the valley, with the possibility to structure specific programs to all our athletes”.
Kühtai and the Zillertal Valley, winter tourism destinations and cycling paradises in the summer season, were the locations chosen by Sam Oomen and Michael Matthews‘ Team Sunweb and a selection of Team Jumbo-Visma captained by the ITT Dutch Champion Jos Van Emden.
In the Euro-regional territory, the World Teams found a truthful testing ground, the hallmark of the Tour of the Alps that awaits the champions’ return in April 2021. After all, history proves it: many great triumphs were built starting from the Euro-region roads.