Good morning from the third stage of the Tour of the Alps. The peloton keeps riding Northbound. After crossing Trentino over two stages, a spectacular route leads among the beauties of South Tyrol: apple trees, vineyards, breath-taking panoramic views, but also technical difficulties and an elevation gain of 2600 meters, with Mendola Pass and Palade Pass to tackle, which will remain in the riders’ legs as they head toward the final days of the event. Will the rivals find a way to break the Astana Team domination, and displace the race leader, Colombian Ivan Ramiro Sosa (Androni-Sidermec)? No easy job, but there’s still plenty to race in this #TotA.
Meeting place: Ora/Auer, Piazza Principale, h 9:00
Depart: Ora/Auer, Via Nazionale, h 10:45
Finish: Meran-o, Via delle Corse, h 14:10
Antidoping Control: Kurhaus – Promenade, 8
Feed Zone: Termeno-Tramin, km 64,4
Intermediate Sprint: Laives-Leifers, km 44,3
KOM: Passo della Mendola-Mendelpass (1a Cat., km 90,6); Passo Palade-Gampenpass (3a Cat., km 112,0)
Permanence: Kurhaus – Promenade, 14
THE STARTING LINE: ORA
On the left side of the Adige, Ora is a picturesque village surrounded by vineyards that give it a rural look and the name of “wine location”. The village has some majestic architecture, such as the Sixteenth-century manor Happacherhorf and the ancient church of Saint Peter with a still working late-Renaissance organ.
ON THE ROAD
The market town Egna is listed in the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy”. Arcades, courtyards and buildings in Venetian style make it unique and witness the past of intense trade, in particular the transport of timber by river. It still recalls the atmosphere of those times and is a vibrant cultural center of the Bassa Atesina, 25 kilometers from Bolzano.
THE STAGE TASTE
On the sunny slopes of the Bassa Atesina and along the Strada del Vino winemakers produce some of the best wines in South Tyrol. The Pinot Noir wine is ideally cultivated here. Don’t miss Gewürztraminer, the white wine with light spicy notes and nuances of cloves, roses and lychees. Ideal for fish appetizers and excellent also for desserts.
In Bolzano, we recommend to visit the Dome, a true Romanesque-Gothic jewel of the eleventh century. Along with other elegant buildings and arcades that branch off towards the medieval part of the city, the dome is representative as the square dedicated to Walther von der Vogelweide, poet and troubadour who lived in the area between 1100 and 1200 and recalled with a statue in the middle of the square.
THE FINISH: MERANO
Entirely surrounded by mountains, between Val Venosta, Val Passiria, Val d’Adige and Val d’Ultimo, Merano is the second largest town in South Tyrol by population. It is famous for its thermal baths, parks, walks in the countryside – thanks to its geographical position enjoys a mild climate and it is a popular destination for wellness tourism. Its racecourse is famous internationally.
A meeting area among cultures, Merano has a very long tourism tradition. In fact, evidences are the names of the characters who visited it. Especially Sissi, Empress of Austria, consort of Franz Joseph of Austria. The fascinating homonymous path that leads from the historical center to the imperial residence of Castel Trauttmansdorff is dedicated to her: an exciting walk.
THE WEATHER FORECAST
High-pressure boasts good and settled weather, so sky mainly clear with increasing temperature, between 17°C and 26°C.