There are still seven months to the 43rd Tour of the Alps, to be held from April 19th to 23rd, 2021, but the three lands united in the Euregio already look forward to the return of World-class cycling.
Waiting for the clash of stars through Tirol, Südtirol/Alto Adige and Trentino, a champion from the past went out to unveil the 2021 TotA courses. Discovering the wonders and tricks of a charming route was one of the greatest names in the cycling of the early 2000s. Paolo Bettini, two-time World Champion and Athens 2004 gold medallist, and TV commentator in the present days, went through the decisive sections of the five stages expecting the riders in April 2021.
Bound to Austria by one of his greatest achievements, the 2006 World Championship in Salzburg, the former Italian National Team coach voiced his enthusiasm for the short and intense routes that have characterized the Euro-regional race its inception.
“I have raced the then Giro del Trentino only twice in my career, but I have followed the growth of the Tour of the Alps project in recent years,” Bettini said. “This race has a legitimate technical identity. The TotA’s course is not overly hard, but very spectacular. It’s a perfect mix of challenging stages, where climbing prowess is required, but very well balanced: a brilliant course that goes for the mountains but avoids very high altitudes, dodging the weather risks related to the period. I think all of these elements factor in the riders’ great appreciation for this race”.
“If I were still racing,” Bettini continued, “I would have circled in red the first stage: the Brenner climb isn’t impossible, the Axams’ ascent in the finale will thin the bunch, but I believe that the first leader’s jersey will be assigned in a reduced sprint. One where Bettini might have had a good chance in”.
Paolo Bettini’s recognitions have been captured in five videos to be distributed on the Tour of the Alps’ official channels. For the two-time World Champion, the discovery of the Euregio is just at the beginning: “These days riding through Tirol, Südtirol/Alto Adige and Trentino made me want to come back as soon as possible. I felt embraced by the warm welcome of these lands, and discovered so many beautiful locations for cycling and beyond. I hope to be back soon, maybe even before April”.
The 2021 Tour of the Alps course
The GS Alto Garda organizers have confirmed for 2021 the route that was originally unveiled for the 2020 edition, canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, backed by the enthusiasm by the stage cities and the key support by the three territorial board united in the Euregio Tirol – Südtirol/Alto Adige – Trentino.
Brixen/Bressanone will stage the first Tour of the Alps’ great start in Südtirol/Alto Adige, with the teams’ presentation in the beautiful Piazza Duomo and the top riders’ press conference on Sunday April 18th, before the official start on Monday April 19th, with the opening stage to finish in Innsbruck, Tirol.
Innsbruck will be the start of stage 2 on Tuesday April 20th, to be held entirely in Tirol and finishing uphill in Feichten im Kaunertal. Imst and Tirol will also host the start of stage 3, on Wednesday April 21st, taking the race back to Südtirol/Alto Adige. Naturns/Naturno will welcome both the finish of the third and the start of the 4th stage, that will head towards Trentino and Pieve di Bono, in Valle del Chiese, on Thursday April 22nd.
The fifth and final stage of the Tour of the Alps will be run entirely in Trentino on Friday April 23rd, from Idroland, in Valle del Chiese, to Riva del Garda. Garda Trentino will have the honor of crowning the winner of the Euro-Regional event, the traditional key dress rehearsal ahead of the Giro d’Italia.