It is already a certainty: 2015 Giro del Trentino Melinda (from 21st to 24th of April) will not let anyone down. Stage2 of the Italian stage race was unveiled by Gs Alto Garda organizers, and it will definitely be a difference maker. The tough 168 km race from Dro to Brentonico, on Wednesday April 22nd is loaded with three categorized climbs, all of which coming inside the second half of the race, laying ideal ground for an amazing cycling show to come to life. Just 24 hrs after the opening TTT from Riva del Garda to Arco (13,4 km, on Tuesday, April 21st), the Italian four-day race’s queen stage aims to increase once more the event’s appeal and global popularity.
Those riders looking to contend at the Giro d’Italia will find an extremely valuable, and possibly decisive, test in the Dro-Brentonico stage. After the first 100 km of rise and falls through Valle di Ledro, Valli Giudicarie and Valle dei Laghi landscapes, the race starts to ramp up with Monte Velo, then a long run down to Valle di Gresta (famous for its organic vegetables) up to the summit finish in Brentonico, slightly over 700 mts of altitude.
Monte Velo is the key difficulty of this stage, the toughest uphill albeit quite unknown in the top cycling circuit. The HC category climb twists and turns from Bolognano to Passo di Santa Barbara (1170 mts high) from its steepest slope, with hairpin turns and bends forcing the riders to often relaunch their tempo. The 15 km ramp features an almost 1000 mts altitude difference, 8,6% average gradient and no way to catch breath as a fast and demanding descent must be handled from the top, where a brave attacker may have a chance to open a serious gap.
An exciting finale expects the main favorites on Brentonico plateau, in the heart of Parco del Baldo, considered “the Italian garden” by worldwide botanists. The last 8 km uphill features a misleading 6,9% average gradient but a sustained 2 km drag with 8,5% average from Castione (famous for its chestnuts) to the summit finish will prove tough with so many kilometres and climbs already in the legs.
Last year’s Giro del Trentino also featured an uphill finish in Brentonico (at San Giacomo resort) where Bardiani-Csf Edoardo Zardini soloed to win and Aussie Cadel Evans (Bmc) grabbed the leader’s jersey he would eventually hold on until the end.
Two stages are still to be unveiled, but it is already crystal clear that Giro del Trentino Melinda will follow its tradition, providing a great deal of spectacular mountain racing once again in 2015 while relying – as usual – on medium-altitude climbs to splinter up the field.