The charm of two cities full of history and tradition, and the expectation for a challenge at the highest levels. That is what the first stage of the Tour of the Alps is going to offer, from Brixen/Bressanone to Innsbruck, on Monday, April 20th, and things will get serious right from the start. The city center right in the middle of the Isarco Valley will host the first great start from Südtirol of the race organized by GS Alto Garda, just after the preliminary operations and the press conference of the main protagonists on Sunday, April 19th.
The beautiful Piazza Duomo will kick things off with 142,8 km towards Tyrol and its capital Innsbruck. “This start from Brixen/Bressanone represents a double victory: for the city, that is going to give its best to host the event as it did in the past with other sports events. But also, for the Tour of the Alps, that is going to start from the most beautiful square i Südtirol – Brixen/Bressanone Tourist Board Director, Werner Zanotti, explained – I know how much work there is behind the scenes of a race like this. It seems easy, but if the general level is so high it means that the organizing committee did and keep doing an excellent job”.
Immediately after the start, the athletes will start climbing towards Naz and Sterzing/Vipiteno and then the Isarco Valley and the GPM of the Brenner Pass. Since ancient times, this pass has been the most important link and communication route between the North Sea and Latin culture, with an uninterrupted migration of people pushed by commercial interests. After passing the State Border, on the descent from the Austrian side of the Brenner Pass, the athletes will face the Europe Bridge (europabrücke), a true symbol of the euro-regional union.
Riders will then face a quick dive that will lead them to the outskirts of Innsbruck, where they will continue the race with two laps of a wide circuit characterized by the Axams ascent, the same climb dealt by the riders in the 2018 Innsbruck World Championships’ time trials. The last time atop the hill, located with 18km to the finish line, could become an excellent springboard towards the first leader jersey of this 44th edition of Tour of the Alps.
Innsbruck will be a hosting city for the third time in the first four editions of the new euro-regional project. This is the confirmation of the commitment of the city and the territory towards cycling in all its forms, after the great success of the World Championship won by Valverde.
Innsbruck is also an alpine-urban emotion to be experienced. On the one hand, you can walk surrounded by the city’s historic buildings. On the other hand, you can enjoy the adventure and the multitude of sporting practices that the Alps can offer in every season of the year, from skiing to cycling. Innsbruck and all Tyrol promote “eco-friendly tourism”, with cycling as a privileged way to discover the pleasures of the mountains.
“After the 2018 UCI Road World Championships we can now experience for the third time the Tour of the Alps with some of the best road cyclists in the world – announces Innsbruck Tourism Chairman Karl Gostner -. We expect many cycling fans along the racecourse as well as in the beautiful finish area in front of the Tyrolean State Theatre. Millions will also be able to enjoy fantastic images of Innsbruck on their screens at home”.
The very first stage of Tour of the Alps with finish in Innsbruck (2017) coincided with the last victory of the late Michele Scarponi, who died tragically a few days later. Therefore, since the 2018 edition, the Team Up award in his honor has been established. At the start of each stage, the team that the previous day distinguished itself for generosity and group spirit will be awarded: all qualities for which Scarponi was unanimously recognized.