Since its establishment, the Tour of the Alps has embodied the values of collaboration and cooperation promoted by the Euregio Tirol-South Tyrol-Trentino, applying them to the sports world. Coming from the latest months’ issues with traveling, cycling and the Euro-regional race scheduled from April 19th to 23rd represent indeed a new beginning.
Following the signing in August of a new European Group of Territorial Collaboration (GECT) in Alpbach, Tirol, the Tour of the Alps formula has been recognized as a point of reference for the promotion of cross-border initiatives. In recent years, the awareness among citizens about the role of the Euregio has increased thanks to events like the Tour of the Alps, and it is on these solid bases that Tirol, South Tyrol and Trentino have further re-boosted this collaboration.
“Cross-border cooperation is becoming every day more crucial for our future”, said the Managing Director of Tirol Werbung, Florian Phleps. – “Cycling played a pioneering role for us. With the Tour of the Alps we have created a very efficient cooperation mark for our Euro-region and our population. We aim to extend these joint initiatives with the Euregio Connect network, which was founded last summer with this purpose.”
After all, cycling has a special bond with the Euregio and with Tirol in particular, where two-wheels are promoted not only as privileged means of discovering the mountains and their charm through environmentally sustainable tourism, but also by hosting major international events. Among these stands the Tour of the Alps, which will have Innsbruck as a stage location for the third time in four editions.
The commitment of the Tirolean capital and the regional marketing agency Tirol Werbung for the promotion of cycling in all its facets saw its highest expression in 2018 with the Road Cycling World Championship in Innsbruck, won by Spaniard Valverde. However, mountain-bike is also finding significant visibility thanks to Laura Stigger and Mona Mitterwallner, young and very talented off-road queens.
“After the global pandemic and the many restrictions affecting travel and sports events, we want to look forward to summer 2021 with optimism: the Tour of the Alps represents the perfect kick-off and increases the desire for mountains and outdoor activities that have arisen in this period,” said Tirol Werbung Managing Director Florian Phleps.
After hosting the historical very-first stage of the Tour of the Alps back in 2017, won by the late Michele Scarponi, Innsbruck will also welcome the opening stage of the 2021 edition on Monday, April 19th. After 140,6 km starting from Brixen/Bressanone, the caravan will reach the capital of Tirol and face twice a circuit enlivened by the Axams climb, an asperity also faced in the Teams Time Trial of the 2018 World Championships.
The second stage scheduled for Tuesday, April 20th, will entirely take place in Tirol, starting from Innsbruck and ending in Feichten im Kaunertal. For the occasion, the Tour of the Alps will cross the home roads of former ski star Benni Raich, before tackling twice the ascent of the Piller Sattel. The second time will be from the most challenging side and will lead to the final climb and to the finish line.
On Wednesday, April 21st, the welcoming Imst will see the start of the third stage, which will cover 162 km and bring the athletes to Naturns/Naturno. Tirol will be protagonist in the first part of the route, with a city circuit to warm up the legs and get ready for the Piller Sattel, before saluting the Tour of the Alps’ caravan moving towards the Reschen Pass/Passo Resia.
TOUR OF THE ALPS’ PROGRAMME IN TIROL
Monday, April 19th (Stage 1: Brixen/Bressanone – Innsbruck, 140,6 Km)
15:30 – Arrival Innsbruck – Rennweg
Tuesday, April 20th (Stage 2: Innsbruck – Feichten im Kaunertal, 121,5 Km)
10:15 – Meeting point Innsbruck, Rennweg
10:50-11:50 – Sign-on
12:05 – Neutral Start
12:15 – Official Depart (Km 0)
15:30 – Arrival Feichten im Kaunertal – Feichten
Wednesday, April 21st, (Stage 3: Imst – Naturno, 162 Km)
08:30 – Meeting point Imst, Sparkassenplatz
08:40-09:40 – Sign-on
09:50 – Official depart (Km 0)