Good morning from the fourth and final stage of the 40th Giro del Trentino Melinda. Start in Malè, finish in Cles after 161,1 km. The route features practically no flat sections, and three categorized climbs: Fondo (1.060 mt), Marcena di Rumo (995 mt) and the feared Forcella di Brez (1.397 mt, after 126,3 km). After yesterday’s strong display, everybody is out to see whether Mikel Landa will manage to defend his leadership from his rivals’ attacks on such a tricky route. Surely, the fans are up to live an exciting day of cycling.
A CYCLING FEST IN THE LAND OF APPLE ORCHARDS: VAL DI SOLE AND VAL DI NON
The 2016 Giro del Trentino Melinda ends in Val di Non, that in April will offer the delightful show of the flourishing of the apple trees.
Following the long-time tradition of Trofeo Melinda, the start of stage 4 will be given from Val di Sole, and exactly from its main city, Malè, a pleasant town rising up among a charming land of orchards. In the city center, more ancient and characteristic architectures are armonized with more recent constructions. Malè is certainly the “capital” of Val di Sole for its history and vocation, being located in the middle of a “magic triangle” formed by the Brenta Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio and the Stelvio National Park.
Samantha Cristoforetti, the first ever Italian spacewoman to have recently taken part in a long-time space mission, was born in Milan but raised in Malè.
Tourism and tertiary are the main economic activities, along with agriculture and craftsmanship. Modern and efficient sports facilities can also be found in the town. Malè hosts the Val di Sole Civil Museum, exposing typical object and rural utensils from the area. Val di Sole is one of the main areas for mountain bike at the international level: an MTB World Cup stage is held here annually, and several World Championships for mountain bike disciplines have been organized here over the years.
In the early going, the race will pass through Dimaro, at the foot of the climb that goes up to Madonna di Campiglio. Dimaro has established as a summer preparation venue for famous soccer teams, and SSC Napoli has chosen it in the last few years.
The peloton will return to Malè and then visit Terzolas, with peculiar buildings and the big Capuchins’ monastery, and Caldes with its recently restored medieval castle. In Mostizzolo, a suburb of Cis, there is an elevated bridge on the Noce river before the latter reaches the Santa Giustina lake, also marking the border between Val di Sole and Val di Non. Here starts the Val di Sole cycling path of 35 km, running up to Fucine by the Noce river.
The race will also meet Livo, Cagnò with its late-medieval urbanistic layout, Revò, where the local Groppello wine is produced, Romallo, Cloz, Brez, characteristic Val di Non municilalities, and all the way slightly uphill to Fondo, the main center of the Northern part of the valley, at the foot of the Mendola and Palade passes. A pleasant holiday location for summer and winter, its Rio Sass river flows undergroud for a section, forming a deep and suggestive canyon. Fondo is the venue of “Ciaspolada”, international race with snowshoes. The artificial Smeraldo lake embellishes this land since 1964. The Maddalene mountain chain also stands out in the area: it’s name hails from a local agricultural tradition, that authorized haymaking at the foot of the mountain only after July 22nd, the day of Saint Maddalena.
A long descent takes the race through Sarnonico, Romeno, Sanzeno, in this part of the valley where, on a cliff, rises the San Romedio sanctuary, whose first nucleum dates back to 1000. Casez, suburb of Sanzeno, presents the Castle of the Concini family, who imported the “delicious” apple, where the “Pomaria” event happens in October every year since 2005. It’s the area of the Predaia plateau. The race returns to Revò, Romallo, Cloz, Brez, Fondo, where the first KOM of the day is placed (1050 mt) at the second passage. Nearby, in Mollaro, MondoMelinda has been founded 1997: a place where to discover the reality of apple consortium Melinda.
Offering some enchanting views on the Saint Giustina lake, the itinerary returns in the northern partg of the valley for the second categorized climb on the day, in Rumo, up to the peak in Marcena di Rumo at 995 mt. Then the race makes its way back to Revò, Romallo, Cloz and Brez, where the tough Forcella di Brez categorized climb starts, rising up to 1395 mt. After the top, the race shortly gets into the Bolzano province in Lauregno, German speaking town connected to the Val d’Ultimo (Alto Adige) by the Castrin Pass, in an uncontaminated natural context. The race moves downhill to Livo, passing through Marcena di Rumo, crossing the high Castelaz bridge and finally reaching Cles. There starts a 14-km circuit that passes through Tassullo, where the Castel Valer is located, and Nanno, the town of historical Trofeo Melinda patron Gian Marco Brentari, who passed away two years ago.
The birth of Trofeo Melinda was preceded by the “Circuito degli Assi” in Nanno, an event held from 1981 to 1991. After taking over the licence of Giro dell’Umbria, the first Trofeo Melinda was run in 1992, starting the tradition of the prestigious one-day race.
Cles is set to host the last and decisive finish of Giro del Trentino Melinda, at the end of a spectacular circuit, while also celebrating the first edition of the Trofeo Melinda, in 1992, won here by home-guy Maurizio Fondriest over World Champion Gianni Bugno
Cles is the main city of the Val di Non (Non Valley), and rises on a vast terrace among mountains with its characteristic and likable look, matching together Gothic and Venetian Reinassence’s influences. The imposing Cles castle, located on a cliff, was once the dwelling of the Clesio family. The “Palazzo Assessorile” and the S. Maria Assunta Church, situated in the City Hall square, are two more notable architectual sites. Several other interesting monuments can be found on the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Maurizio Fondriest was born here in 1965. Professional from 1987 to 1998, he earned the honor of the rainbow jersey at the 1988 World Championships in Renaix, won the 1993 Milan-Sanremo and a number of other important races and challenges.
Cles will celebrate the 2016 Giro del Trentino Melinda podium, and its protagonists: an international excellence in cycling, just like its elected land.
THE 2016 MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN VAL DI SOLE
Val di Sole Bike Land will be the World Capital of Mountain Biking in 2016. The beautiful land in western Trentino, always an elected area for outdoor sports, is set to host a number of offroad cycling events during the upcoming summer. The biggest one will take place from August 29th to September 11th: the UCI MTB Elite World Championships, that come back to Val di Sole eight years after the very successful first experience. At the same time, also the UCI MTB Master World Championships will take place in Italy for the first time (info:www.valdisolebikeland.com). The Elite Worlds will assign the Downhill, Trials and 4Cross titles, while the Master event will involve the Downhill and Cross Country disciplines. The Downhill and 4Cross events are to be staged on the traditional tracks in Daolasa, while Trials and Cross Country will be run in Vermiglio. Malè will also host the start and finish of the Val di Sole Marathon (29/8), a dress rehearsal for the 2017 Italian Marathon Championships.
The weather situation is evolving. The sky should get more cloudy during the day, and rain might be coming in the late afternoon.