If the one-day classics are the season’s highlight for some athletes, for those taking aim at the grand tours, they’ve set their sights a bit farther down the road. In keeping with tradition, the Tour of the Alps, scheduled for April 17-21 in Tyrol, South Tyrol, and Trentino, will be one of the most eagerly awaited and challenging races as we head toward midseason. This year’s 46th edition promises to attract celebrated champions and to once again be much more than a sporting event.
On Wednesday, March 8, various initiatives and new developments of the Euroregional stage race were unveiled at Bolzano’s Sportler Bike flagship store, the new partner of the event organized by GS Alto Garda. The event began with the long-awaited presentation of the four leader jerseys by Alè Cycling for the second, consecutive year, and included the debut of Red Jersey for the new points classification.
The second edition of the #LiveUphill Challenge, the virtual challenge on the Tour of the Alps routes hosted on the Rouvy platform and in collaboration with ENDU, was also presented in Bolzano.
ALÈ CYCLING DRESSES THE TOUR OF THE ALPS LEADERS IN SIGNATURE STYLE
Following last season's excellent debut, the Tour of the Alps and Alé Cycling, Italy's leading cycling apparel brand for more than 30 years and Premium Sponsor of the Euroregional race, continue their partnership in 2023.
The four new leaders’ jerseys that were unveiled in Bolzano will once again tell the story of the Italian brand's signature style and distinction, which begins with the design – with a weave inspired by the perpetual motion and "electricity" of a race that’s always sizzling like the Tour of the Alps - and continues with its technical construction.
The Tour of the Alps jerseys belong to the PR-R line, Alé's category of custom apparel that’s available to even the most demanding amateurs who rely on the Italian brand's quality down to the smallest detail in terms of fabrics, finishes, and fit.
The four Alé Cycling jerseys that will grace the leaders in their respective rankings are:
- The Green Melinda Jersey for the General Classification leader
- The Blue Gruppo Cassa Centrale Jersey for the KOM classification
- The Manila Grace Red Jersey for the new points leader
- The Würth White Jersey for the Best Young Rider classification
The Manila Grace Red Jersey ties in with another new feature of the 2023 edition – it will no longer reward the leader in the sprint category, but instead will award the new points leader, whose rank is determined by position in the flying sprints and the finish of each stage.
TOTA ALSO BECOMES VIRTUAL IN 2023
For world cycling champions, the date with the climbs of the Euregio Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino is now only five weeks away. For fans around the world, however, the wait is already over.
Once again this year, it will be possible to virtually ride the Tour of the Alps routes thanks to technology by Rouvy and in collaboration with ENDU. In fact, the second edition of the Tour of the Alps #LiveUphill challenge started on March 1 and will end on April 30. It’s an experience to be enjoyed on the roads of Trentino, South Tyrol, and Tyrol – just like the real thing.
Participants can virtually tackle the final kilometres of all five Tour of the Alps stages and, while they are on the platform, they can experience both the beauty and suffering that distinguish the Euroregional challenge from April 17 to 21.
All athletes who complete the five stages in the period between March 1 and April 30 will be able to participate in the Tour of the Alps prize drawing, which starts with the official leaders’ jerseys autographed by the winners in their respective rankings.
Among the prizes that are also up for grabs will be the special Tour of the Alps outfit by Alè in collaboration with Sportler, which was also presented at the Bolzano event and will be available for purchase at all Sportler Bike outlets and online at sportler.com.
THE SOUTH TYROLEAN SOUL OF THE 2023 TOUR OF THE ALPS
With one start and two stage finishes, South Tyrol will be a major player in the 2023 Tour of the Alps by hosting the stage finish on Tuesday, April 18, inside the Ritten Arena, the ice-skating rink in Ritten/Renon, and the stage start on Wednesday, April 19. Bruneck/Brunico and Pustertal/Val Pusteria will be the setting for the Euro-regional race’s grand finale on Friday, April 21.
The stage on Tuesday, April 18 (Reith im Alpbachtal-Ritten/Renon, 165.2 km) is the longest one of the entire race, which will enter South Tyrol at the Brenner Pass/Passo del Brennero, before tackling the quick ascents up Barbian/Barbiano and Mittelberg/Monte di Mezzo, which are suitable for particularly explosive climbers. The next day, the caravan will depart from Ritten/Renon to arrive in Trentino 162.5 kilometres later, in Brentonico San Valentino.
The fifth and final stage: 144.5 kilometers starting in Cavalese (Trentino) and finishing in Bruneck/Brunico, will feature the ascent at the start of the Lavazé Pass, the pinnacle of the Tour of the Alps at 1808 meters above sea level. However, it will be Pustertal/Val Pusteria that will welcome the caravan for the grand finale. After an initial pass over the finish line in Bruneck/Brunico, the racers will lay it all on the line on the tough climb and treacherous descent of Muhlbach/Riomolino (7.8 km at 8.2 percent) before gliding back to the finish line in the elegant city centre.
As usual supporting events promoted by local committees in synergy with the Tour of the Alps’ supporting events area will spark the festive mood. The involvement of youth and schools will precede the show in the Ritten Arena in Ritten/Renon, both at the finish on Tuesday, April 18, and at the start on Wednesday, April 19. An exhibition of historic bicycles will be organized for the grand finale in Bruneck, while an afternoon performance of Mr. Tschusto's band will set the mood for the finish and the crowning of the overall Tour of the Alps winner.
A GROWING BOND
The presence of important partners that represent this region also reinforce the Tour of the Alps' connection to South Tyrol and chronicle its growth over the years. In addition to the territorial marketing agency, IDM South Tyrol, the likes of Sportler, Würth, the publishing group Athesia Medien, as well as A22 Autostrada del Brennero – the backbone linking the three Euregion territories, and in whose service areas the Tour of the Alps has already been starring on MoveTV screens for several weeks, will be alongside the Euro-regional event.
"Throughout this more than 6-year journey, we have managed to strengthen the bond between the territories and the Euregion to become what we are now, an event that transcends the world of sports," said GS Alto Garda President, Giacomo Santini. "To produce a bicycle race of absolute quality, we combine the pleasure of discovering places of extraordinary beauty with the hospitality typical of these territories. It’s a successful mix that’s rewarded every year by the riders and the national and international press."