In two weeks’ time, one of Italy’s most important races, the Giro del Trentino Melinda, will get underway. The event – won in the past by huge riders such as Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Saronni, Moreno Argentin or Vincenzo Nibali – will take place between the 21st and 24th of April, and thanks to its challenging course it will be an important test for the riders who will go after glory in May, at the Giro d’Italia, first and foremost Italian Fabio Aru.
The 39th Giro del Trentino Melinda starts with a 13 km-long team time trial between Riva del Garda and Arco, which will be the only flat stage of this year’s edition. One day later, the climbers are expected to light up the race on the tough climb to Monte Velo, before fighting for the win in Brentonico. Another difficult day awaits on the 23rd of April, when the cyclists will face five climbs (of which three are categorized) on their way to Fierozzo. The conclusion of the races comes in Cles, at the end of a stage which will commemorate the memory of former Trofeo Melinda organizer, Marco Brentari.
Most of contenders for the general classification join Trentino backed by remarkable results achieved during the last few weeks. Richie Porte, the World Tour leader, had an excellent season thus far, during which he scored seven victories, including the GC at both Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya. Now, the 30-year-old cyclist, national time trial champion, will try to become the second Australian to win the Giro del Trentino Melinda, after Cadel Evans in 2014, but he can’t expect an easy ride.
One of the reasons is that Jean-Christophe Peraud will also be at the start, where he comes after an impressive display in the Criterium International. The rider of AG2R, second in last year’s Tour de France, had a shaky start to the season, but eventually found his legs once the spring came and showed some great form on the Col de l’Ospedale, where he attacked from the distance and nabbed the stage win, as well as the overall for the second year in a row. His strong ride on home turf makes him a favorite for Trentino, a race which saw only one French champion so far (Luc Leblanc in 1997).
Another huge talent, who emerged at the 2013 World Championships in Florence, where he took silver in the U23 race, Louis Meintjes returns to the Giro del Trentino one year after finishing 5th and winning the youth classification. This season, the South African confirmed that his future lies in the stage races, after an outstanding performance at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali. MTN-Qhubeka’s rider attacked on the penultimate climb, distanced all his rivals and in addition to the stage win, he also took the GC, with a two-second advantage. That victory gave Meintjes a great boost of confidence, and he’ll try to keep the momentum in the next weeks, as he goes for the overall in the Giro del Trentino Melinda.
The official presentation of the 39th Giro del Trentino Melinda will be held on Wednesday, April 8th, in Trento.
The stages of the 39th Giro del Trentino Melinda:
Stage 1 (Tuesday April 21): Riva del Garda-Arco 13,3 km (team time trial)
Stage 2 (Wednesday April 22): Dro-Brentonico 168,2 km
Stage 3 (Thursday April 23): Ala-Fierozzo 183,8 km
Stage 4 (Friday April 24): Malè-Cles 161,5 km
All media that plans to follow the 2015 Giro del Trentino Melinda may send the accreditation request using the online form (click here https://www.girodeltrentino.com/master/girodeltrentino/press.aspx). The last day of registration is April 15th