After the 2020 edition’s forced break, the Tour of the Alps is back stronger and ready to kick off. The confirmation of the routes and stage venues that would have hosted the Euro-regional event in the past season was a clear indication in that sense. The confirmation came on Friday, January 22nd, together with the announcement of the competing teams in the 2021 edition. The event was streamed online on the Tour of the Alps and PMG Sport platform, as well as on other relevant platforms in Italy, Austria and Germany.
Representatives of the all the three territorial partners of the Tour of the Alps took part in the presentation: the Marketing Director of IDM Südtirol/Alto Adige, Wolfgang Töchterle, the Managing Director of Tirol Werbung, Florian Phleps and the CEO of Trentino Marketing, Maurizio Rossini. Also involved in the Tour of the Alps presentation were World Champion Paolo Bettini, Italy National Team’s coach Davide Cassani, Eolo-Kometa’s Team Manager Ivan Basso, Astana Premier Tech’s Sports Director Giuseppe Martinelli, Team Ineos-Grenadiers’ Tao Geoghegan Hart and Filippo Ganna, Team Bike Exchange’s Simon Yates and PMG Sport’s Marketing and Media Rights Manager Ginevra Cividini, along with GS Alto Garda President Giacomo Santini and Tour of the Alps General Manager Maurizio Evangelista.
From April 19th to 23rd, a record-breaking edition of the event organized under the aegis of the Tirol-Südtirol/Alto Adige-Trentino Euro-region will take place. The list of 22 teams at the start in Brixen/Bressanone, two more than in 2019, includes no less than 12 World Teams. A new record for the stage race organized by G.S. Alto Garda, unanimously considered the perfect springboard towards the Giro d’Italia.
The Team INEOS-Grenadiers confirmed its presence, as per (winning) tradition. The British squad won the last Giro d’Italia with Tao Geoghegan Hart, and the Brit will likely try to defend the title. If so, while the 2021 program has not been officially announced yet, Geoghegan Hart might well lead the INEOS-Grenadiers line-up also at the Tour of the Alps.
The Euro-Regional race was indeed a fundamental step for Tao Geoghegan Hart’s career. He made himself a name on these roads, finishing second in the 2019 edition behind teammate Pavel Sivakov. “Who could have ever thought that things would have changed so much since conquering my first and second win at Tour of the Alps? I hope to return to win and close the circle“, said Tao from the INEOS Grenadiers training camp in Gran Canaria. In the meantime, another INEOS Grenadiers athlete as TT World Champion Filippo Ganna has confirmed his presence at the race, looking forward to showing off in a challenging stage race like the Tour of the Alps.
Vincenzo Nibali will also sign at the start in Brixen/Bressanone. The Trek-Segafredo athlete will test his shape on the Tour of the Alps stages, before attempting to complete his hat-trick at the Giro d’Italia.
Anyway, there is a load of other strong teams and leaders hoping to sparkle up the 2021 Tour of the Alps, starting with Groupama-FDJ with TotA’s 2018 winner Thibaut Pinot, Bora-Hansgrohe with Emanuel Buchmann, Israel Start-Up Nation, the new team of Chris Froome, Qhubeka-Assos with Fabio Aru, Mikel Landa‘s Bahrain-Victorious and, last but not least, Team Astana-Premier Tech with its leader for the Giro d’Italia, Aleksandr Vlasov.
The Tour of the Alps welcomes back EF Education Nippo and the ambitious UAE Team Emirates, and also two teams doing their debut in the Euregio. The first one is Team BikeExchange, whose captain will be Simon Yates: the Tour of the Alps’ short but intense stages perfectly fit the 2018 Vuelta a España winner’s skills. The second one is a long-time presence in the pro peloton, Team Movistar, the new squad of Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez.
In addition to the World Tour outfits, 8 Professional teams will try to play their cards at the Tour of the Alps, starting with Italian Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF-Faizané, Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM and Eolo-Kometa, the new Pro’ team under the guidance of Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador.
Among the international squads, the spotlights are on Team Gazprom-Rusvelo and its leader Ilnur Zakarin and Team Arkéa-Samsic, the French team of Nairo Quintana, the winner at 2014 Giro d’Italia, who could even feature in the Euregio if the Colombian’s intention to compete for the Maglia Rosa will be confirmed. Rounding out the Professional Teams’ list, Spain’s Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Norway’s Uno-X Pro Cycling Team.
The Tour of the Alps will also welcome a Continental team, Austrian Tirol KTM Cycling Team, representing the Tyrol region, and the Italian National Team under Davide Cassani‘s guidance.
2021 TOUR OF THE ALPS’ TEAMS LIST
UCI WORLD TEAMS
Astana-Premier Tech (Kazakhstan)
EF-Education Nippo (United States)
INEOS Grenadiers (Great Britain)
Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Team BikeExchange (Australia)
Team Qhubeka-Assos (South Africa)
Trek-Segafredo (United States)
UAE-Team Emirates (United Arab Emirates)
UCI PRO TEAMS
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec (Italy)
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (Spain)
Team Arkéa-Samsic (France)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (Norway)
Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM (Italy)
Tirol KTM Cycling Team (Austria)
THE ROUTE: 716 KM FROM BRIXEN/BRESSANONE TO RIVA DEL GARDA
For the first time after three years, South Tyrol will host the start of the 2021 edition: Brixen/Bressanone will raise the curtains on Sunday, April 18th, for the preliminary operations and teams’ presentation in the beautiful Piazza Duomo. The race will start from the main square on Monday, April 19th with stage 1, ending in Innsbruck after 142,8 km.
The capital of Tyrol will be the starting point of the second stage, entirely Tyrolean, with the uphill finish in Feichten im Kaunertal. Imst and Tyrol will likewise host the start of the third stage, leading the race back to South Tyrol, with the finish in Naturns/Naturno. From there, the race moves to Trentino, precisely to Valle del Chiese and Pieve di Bono‘s town.
The fifth and final stage, entirely held in Trentino, will lead the peloton from the Valle del Chiese, Idroland, to Riva del Garda. Garda Trentino will crown the winner of the 2021 Tour of the Alps, after 716 Km and over 13000 meters of elevation gain.
Monday, April 19th: Brixen/Bressanone – Innsbruck, 142,8 Km
Elevation gain: 1950 m. Difficulty: **
Tuesday, April 20th: Innsbruck – Feichten im Kaunertal, 121,5 Km
Elevation gain: 2640 m. Difficulty: ***
Wednesday, April 21st: Imst – Naturns/Naturno, 162 Km
Elevation gain: 2290 m. Difficulty: ***
Thursday, April 22nd: Naturns/Naturno – Valle del Chiese/Pieve di Bono, 168,6 Km
Elevation gain: 3880 m. Difficulty: ****
Friday, April 23rd: Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda, 120,9 Km
Elevation gain: 2230 m. Difficulty: ***
Two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini was the protagonist of the video recognitions on the 2021 race’s five stages. “This edition is, as always, well balanced. The stages are not impossible, but tough climbs are wisely distributed throughout the course. The key moments are to be expected in the second and fourth stage, but the other stages can turn out as demanding if the riders don’t focus properly.”
The live broadcast of the Tour of the Alps’s five stages will be distributed worldwide by PMG Sport, holding the event’s marketing, production and tv distribution rights: “In the 2019 edition we got more than 20 million people watching the event, from Asia to Europe to America. With such a high quality, we can achieve even more,” said Ginevra Cividini, Marketing and Media Rights for PMG Sport.
Alongside the three Territorial boards and the Tirol-Südtirol/Alto Adige-Trentino Euro-Region, several companies have confirmed their commitment with the Tour of the Alps. Along with long-time partners like Melinda, Cassa Centrale Banca, Vittoria, A22 – Autostrada del Brennero and Acqua Pejo, the Tour of the Alps welcomes a new entry: Würth Modyf, a professional clothing brand from Südtirol/Alto Adige.
Wolfgang Töchterle (Marketing Director IDM Alto Adige): “The Tour of the Alps is way more than just a way to promote of our wonderful landscapes to an audience of millions of people. It is a perfect vehicle for transmitting genuine values like sportsmanship and team spirit, fundamental for our Euro-region”
Florian Phleps (Managing Director Tirol Werbung): “After a worldwide pandemic and so many restrictions regarding travels and sports events, we want to think ahead to 2021 summer with positivity. The Tour of the Alps is a perfect start for that and fits perfectly with our outdoor and mountain lover mentality.”
Maurizio Rossini (CEO Trentino Marketing): “Despite the tough times, we lived a winter season full of big events, and we are looking forward to spring and summer on the bike. This year, the Tour of the Alps will reach new spots in Trentino, such as Valle del Chiese/Chiese Valley, and we cannot wait for the Grand Finale in Riva del Garda“.
Giacomo Santini (President G.S. Alto Garda): “We start over with the same determination that led us to the decision of not starting last year, to avoid additional risks for our people. Our team is fully capable to provide everything that is needed to set up and manage an event with high safety standards.”
Maurizio Evangelista (General Manager Tour of the Alps): “Many venues are already requesting to host the TotA in 2022 and 2023: this means that the event’s blueprint is clear, and that its ambition and improved structure are clearly perceived. Chris Froome himself said, a few years ago, that this kind of racing experience is the best that a cyclist can aspire to.”