The new Tour of the Alps, the new cycling events that follows the steps of the Giro del Trentino, has yet to live its very first pedal stroke, but looks in great shape already. The presentation of today – Friday February 3rd – at the Sala Buzzati in Milan (Italy) clearly expressed the idea of a very ambitious and innovative event, that promises to put on an enticing show from April 17th to 21st, 2017.
The synergy between Trentino, the original homeland of the event, Südtirol and Tirol opened the way to an international, cross-border project that carries a 40-year legacy (the forty editions of the Giro del Trentino), and expects to live many more exciting pages under the aegis of the Euregio. Authorities, VIPs, champions and media attended the opening act of the new adventure, with the discovery of the five stages (one more than the past) and a technical and demanding route.
The three “capitals” of the Euregio areas – Innsbruck for Tirol, Bolzano for Südtirol and Trento for Trentino – will be touched by Tour of the Alps’ route, demanding as per the race’s tradition, perfect dress rehearsal for the most expected Giro d’Italia contenders. The peloton will first gather in Innsbruck on Easter day, Sunday April 16th, for the teams’ presentation. On the day after, the race will get off from Kufstein to finish on the Hungerburg hill, just overlooking the Tirol’s capital. The second stage will start in downtown Innsbruck, and end up in Innervillgraten, just a few kilometers away from the Italian border.
The early days of the Tour of the Alps in Tirol will also spread the fascination preceding the 2018 Road World Championships to be held in Innsbruck. Südtirol will welcome the race for stage 3, short but very intense, from Villabassa/Niederfdorf to Funes/Villnöß, passing through the Passo delle Erbe and the new climb to the Alpe di Rodengo, providing ideal ground for some exciting racing. Stage 4 will get off in Bolzano, and leave Südtirol to dive into the apple orchards of Val di Non and Consorzio Melinda, two elements of continuity between Giro del Trentino and Tour of the Alps: the finish in Cles will mark the end of another nervous and treacherous day.
The fifth and final day will bring another suggestive stage, starting in Smarano and passing through the Garda Trentino area and the Monte Bondone hairpins, before the final act in the heart of Trento.
The G.S. Alto Garda organizers are completing the starting field, that will be disclosed at mid-February. The line-up will consist of eighteen teams, at least one-third of which will be World Tour outfits. An extensive international media exposure will be guaranteed by the live TV production – in collaboration with the Italian Lega Ciclismo Professionistico – with a global coverage through TV and web medias. Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport is media partner of the event.
The route of 2017 Tour of the Alps:
Stage 1, Monday April 17th: Kufstein-Innsbruck/Hungerburg, km 142,3. Stage 2, Tuesday April 18th: Innsbruck-Innervillgraten, km 181,3. Stage 3, Wednesday April 19th: Villabassa/Niederdorf-Funes/Villnöß, km 143,1. Stage 4, Thursday April 20th: Bolzano/Bozen-Cles, km 165,3. Stage 5, Friday April 21st: Smarano-Trento, km 199,6.
Renato Di Rocco, Italian Cycling Federation President: “The Giro del Trentino has been an outstanding reality for Italian cycling for forty years, and a territory that gave to our sport major satisfactions and opportunities. We made our part to make sure the Tour of the Alps could get one more stages, while the great work done by the Lega Ciclismo Professionismo guarantees to this growing international project the visibility its prestige deserves.“
Michele Dallapiccola, Trentino’s Tourism Assessor: “The alliance between Trentino, Südtirol and Tirol gives this event a great significance. Sport is one of the common passions and values of our areas, but the Euregio goes well beyond a sports event. We will keep on strengthening this common feeling through the new event.”
Josef Margreiter, Director of Tirol Werbung: “We are grateful to Giro del Trentino for giving us the opportunity to begin a new shared parcours, based on the many values we have in common. We strongly believe in the new project, and hope to establish the Tour of the Alps as one of the main fixtures of the World calendar.”
Marco Pappalardo, Communication Director of IDM Südtirol: “There is a continuity among the three Euroregional areas: our vicinity is not only geographical, but also involves identity and culture, and Tour of the Alps remarks this in the name of sports. Trentino, Sudtirol and Tirol share founding values, based on which we can get closer and work together to get important results.”
Maurizio Rossini, CEO of Trentino Marketing: “Tour of the Alps is an incredible means of promotion for all the involved territories. Cycling, more than any other sport, is able to enhance the territory, making our beauties travel on the screens all over the World, thanks to the media relevance this event has earned in the years.”
Enzo Ghigo, President of Lega Ciclismo Professionistico: “The Giro del Trentino – and now the Tour of the Alps – will be the top event of the new production project we have started with PMG, giving life to the Ciclismo Cup. It was a complex process, but we are very happy with the outcome, as it will bring a huge increase in relevance and visibility to the Italian cycling.”
Davide Cassani, Italian National Team Coach: “The Tour of the Alps – just like the Giro del Trentino before – is a perfect setup for the Giro d’Italia, with spectacular and very demanding stages. The choice of limiting the stages’ lenght is also very interesting.”
Giacomo Santini, President of GS Alto Garda: “The Giro del Trentino’s forty years of history keep living in the Tour of the Alps, that takes the baton from it. Thanks to the new Euroregional alliance, our race will reach more ambitious goal, and will live many more years of this fantastic sports tale.”
Pier Bergonzi, Vice-Director of Gazzetta dello Sport: “We feel glad to be media partner of such a beautiful race, and one that is so closely related to the Giro d’Italia, coming just a couple of weeks before. Turning from Giro del Trentino to Tour of the Alps, the event becomes even more relevant.”
Photo Credits: Daniele Mosna