For those who dreamed, planned, and grew the Euregio Tirol-Südtirol/Alto Adige-Trentino alliance, Alpbach holds a special place in their hearts. The Euregio Connect EGTC Memorandum of Understanding was signed here in 2020, marking the beginning of a strong partnership that the Tour of the Alps helped to establish. Alpbachtal will be home to the start of the Euroregional race, whose 2023 edition will take place from April 17th to 21st.
On Sunday April 16th, the eve’s preliminary operations and the team’s presentation will take place in Alpbach, in the very same Congress Center where the Euregio Connect GECT was created in 2020. Alpbach will also be the finish of stage one, whilst Rattenberg will host the first checkered flag on Monday April 17th.
The smallest city in Austria is no stranger to big cycling and the Tour of the Alps, as in 2018 it hosted the start of the fifth and final stage of that edition, and in the fall of the same year, the Elite Men's time trial of the Road World Championships in Innsbruck started from there. From Rattenberg, a stage of 127.5 km will start, with the first 75 km relatively easy and the final 50 much more challenging.
Before the final ascent to Alpbach, the riders will have to tackle the Brandenberg KOM and the climb towards Reith. In the finale, the ascent towards the Kerschbaumer Sattel will immediately test the big names of the race, and the last 4.5 kilometers are again uphill but with gradients only accentuated in the final kilometer, making it the ideal terrain for a winning attack.
“The landscape variety of the Alpbachtal is the ideal starting point for various road cycling tours and, therefore, the ideal place for a major cycling event like the Tour of the Alps. We are honored to host this race for the third time, thus showing how great it can be to practice road cycling in our region. The Tour of the Alps is the perfect partner for the sustainable establishment of road cycling in the Alpbachtal and Tirol.",Markus Kofler, Director of Tourismusverband Alpbachtal & Tiroler Seenland, said.
The second stage of the race, scheduled for April 18th, will start in Reith im Alpbachtal and cover 162.5 kilometers to the finish in Ritten/Renon in Südtirol/Alto Adige, with half of the stage entirely on Tirolean soil. After 30 flat kilometers, riders will leave the valley floor and climb up to Lans, at the foot of the Innsbruck Olympic mountains. From Patsch, the race climbs to the Brenner Pass/Passo del Brennero, thus returning to Italy.
The stage finale includes the climbs of Feldthurns/Velturno and Barbian/Barbiano as the last steppingstones before the steady climb to the Ritten/Renon plateau. The finish is located inside the Ritten Arena, famous for being one of the fastest outdoor rinks in the speed skating scene, destined to be transformed into a velodrome for one day, for the delight of cycling fans.