Despite the challenges of an international calendar in need for a reform, the Tour of the Alps will field a quality lineup again in 2023. In Innsbruck, the OC unveiled the first 18 competing teams out of 20: the list will be completed in the coming week, selecting the best options to further enrich the technical level of the event.
Eight World Tour teams have already been confirmed (AG2R-Citroen Team, France; Astana-Qazaqstan Team, Kazakhstan; Bahrain Victorious, Bahrain; Bora-Hansgrohe, Germany; EF Education-EasyPost, United States; INEOS Grenadiers, Great Britain, Movistar Team, Spain; Team DSM, Netherlands), along with 9 UCI Pro-Continental Teams (one from Israel, Israel-PremierTech, one from Norway, Uno-X Pro Cycling, three from Italy, Eolo-Kometa, Green Project-Bardiani-CSF-Faizané, Team Corratec, three from Spain, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Equipo Kern Pharma, Euskaltel Euskadi, one from Switzerland, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team), and the Austrian National Team, on its debut in this competition.
Through the selection by national team coach Stefan Sölkner, Austrian cycling aims for an increasingly significant presence in such a high-level race, a positive trend confirmed in the last two editions by Felix Grossschartner, final stage winner in the 2021 edition in Riva del Garda, and by Felix Gall, 6th overall last year.
After crowning Frenchman Romain Bardet last April in Lienz, and revealing the talent of Dutchman Thymen Arensman, the Tour of the Alps wants to confirm itself as a springboard for those approaching the Giro d'Italia with ambitions. However, the Euro-Regional race has now established as a prestigious goal for any athlete, as well as a stage for the rising stars in cycling to showcase at the highest level, and for sure there will be plenty of them to watch at the start from Tirol. The selection of the last two formations will also be related to this factor, giving the edge to exciting talents who could create curiosity and expectation around the five racing days in Tirol, Südtirol/Alto Adige and Trentino.
PLENTY OF BIG NAMES ON THE RADAR, WAITING FOR THE FINAL LISTS
While not all the teams have already revealed their plans for the first half of the season, early indications suggest that the 2023 Tour of the Alps will once again present an exciting showdown. Jack Haig and Aleksandr Vlasov, together with their respective teams, Bahrain Victorious and Bora-Hansgrohe, have already announced their participation in the European-regional stage race. The Australian is one of the most regular climbers in the world, and after his third place in the 2021 Vuelta, he will look for the definitive quality leap in the new season. Vlasov will start with the same ambitions, after winning the Tour of Romandie last year and finishing fifth overall in a highly contested Tour de France.
A regular presence in the Euro-Region, INEOS Grenadiers will be at the start in the buildup to the Giro, where they are expected to line-up youngster Thymen Arensman as well as veteran Geraint Thomas, the Welshman who inaugurated the Tour of the Alps' roll of honor in 2017, before triumphing at the Tour de France the following year. Also joining the field in Rattenberg will be the AG2R-Citroen Team of Tyrolean Felix Gall, 2021 stage 1 winner Geoffrey Bouchard, Astana-Qazaqstan led by American Joe Dombrowski, the team’s protected leader for the Giro, EF Education-EasyPost, Team Movistar and the reigning champions of Team DSM, winners a year ago with Romain Bardet.
Among the Pro-Continental teams, along Italian outfits Eolo-Kometa, Green Project-Bardiani-CSF-Faizané and Team Corratec, the Israel-PremierTech Team of Chris Froome will deserve a close look. The Spanish trio of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Equipo Kern Pharma are set to spark the battle, Norway’s Uno-X will ride the enthusiasm of having been invited to the Tour de France, whilst Q36.5 Cycling Team will look for a solid display in their debut season.
START FROM TIROL, UPHILL FINISH IN TRENTINO, GRAND FINALE IN SÜDTIROL/ALTO ADIGE
In 2023 Tirol hosts the start of the Tour of the Alps. This is the third time for the Land Tirol: both in 2017 and 2019 the race got off from Kufstein, this time it’s Rattenberg’s turn.
After the eve of Sunday, April 16th, in Alpbach, at the Congress Center where the agreement that sanctioned the new "Euregio Connect" EGTC was signed in 2020, on Monday, April 17th the peloton will move from Rattenberg to reach Alpbach, after 127,5 Km.
On Tuesday, April 18th, the longest stage of the 2023 #TotA will start from Reith im Alpbachtal, in Tirol, to arrive after 165.2 km in Ritten/Renon, in Südtirol/Alto Adige, inside the speed skating rink of the Ritten Arena, which will become a velodrome for a day.
The third day will lead the race into the third region: stage 3 starts from Ritten/Renon, Südtirol/Alto Adige, to end after 162.5 km in Brentonico-San Valentino, in Trentino. A hundred relatively simple kilometers will build up for the Lago di Cei ascent and the tough uphill finish on the top of the San Valentino Pass (15.5 km at 7.5%).
Day 4 will be raced entirely in Trentino, 152.9 Km from Rovereto to Predazzo. The Val di Fiemme will stage the final fireworks, with the ascent to the Pramadiccio Pass and the slightly uphill finish line in Predazzo.
The fifth and final stage, starting from Cavalese (Trentino) and arriving in Bruneck/Brunico (Südtirol/Alto Adige), will have an intense start with the ascent to the Lavazé Pass, the roof of the 2023 Tour of the Alps with its 1808 meters asl. However, it will be Pustertal/Val Pusteria to welcome the caravan for the grand finale, characterized by the ascent of Mühlbach/Riomolino and the finish line in Bruneck/Brunico’s city center.
The race will be aired live on TV for roughly two hours each day.
THE 2023 TOUR OF THE ALPS
Monday April 17th, 2023
Stage 1: Rattenberg – Alpbach, 127,5 Km
2.470 mt elevation gain. Difficulty: ***
Tuesday April 18th, 2023
Stage 2: Reith im Alpbachtal – Ritten/Renon, 165,2 Km
2.860 mt elevation gain. Difficulty: **
Wednesday April 19th, 2023
Stage 3: Ritten/Renon – Brentonico-San Valentino, 162,5 km
2.940 elevation gain. Difficulty: ****
Thursday April 20th, 2023
Stage 4: Rovereto – Predazzo, 152,9 Km
3.610 mt elevation gain. Difficulty: ****
Friday April 21st, 2023
Stage 5: Cavalese – Bruneck/Brunico, 144,5 km
2.910 mt elevation gain. Difficulty: ***