Good morning from the 40th Giro del Trentino Melinda stage 3, Sillian-Mezzolombardo of 204,6 km. The riders started from the picturesque Austrian town of Sillian, heading towards an eventful day. After Mikel Landa’s emphatic win in Anras, everybody expects a reaction from Vincenzo Nibali in a mountain day featuring the Fai della Paganella climb. But there will be more space to attack on the very fast descent down to the finish in Mezzolombardo.
AUSTRIA WAVES GOODBYE TO THE #GDTM
The third stage once again takes off from Austria, following an itinerary that partially mirrors the 2nd stage’s one, obviously backwards.
The race caravan will gather in the pleasant city of Sillian. In the past, the characteristic town of Eastern Tirol and main center of the “Osttirol Oberland” was already a stage start city of Giro del Trentino (in 2013, Sillian-Vetriolo Terme), and of Giro d’Italia, exactly 10 years ago. That time it was the 18th stage, ending in Gemona del Friuli. Sillian presents a number of commercial and craftsmanship activities. For the winter sports lovers, Sillian also offers seven ski lifts and 45 km of ski slopes. Statistically, it’s the Austria venue that usually offers he most hours of sun over a year.
The peloton will parade through the Austrian territory, as the actual start won’t be given before the race reaches Italy again, and exactly in Versciaco, in the San Candido municipality, at the foot of the Mount Elmo.
Opposite to the previous stage, the peloton will roll slightly downhill through the beautiful Val Pusteria. Dobbiaco, Brunico, Rio Pusteria, Bressanone, Chiusa, Prato all’Isarco will be touched again by the race in the first half of the race, giving the rider a second look on some charming sights.
After Cardano, the race leaves the Brennero way and heads out to the Val d’Ega, starting the categorized climb to Nova Ponente (1357 mt). The town rises on a sunny plateau, framed by beautiful Dolomite peaks like Latemar, Catinaccio, Scilar and several others. It is a great place for those in love with active sports, offering opportunities for excursions, hiking, alpine and cross country sky, and practically every sport on either snow on ice, as well as some tasty tipical products. In the area of Monte San Pietro, the Matronna di Pietralba sanctuary was funded in 1600: a place of great fascination, as showed by the consistent flux of incoming visitors. Then the race will pass through Aldino, with its canyon, and then dip down to Montagna, with the Castel d’Enna overlooking the built-up area characterized by beautiful churches, before finally reaching the Adige’s valley gloor in Egna, exactly in the suburb of San Floriano. The road continues flat in Cortina sulla Strada del Vino, Salorno and then, once the race is back in the province of Trento, after the “stretta di Salorno”, traditionally marking the border between the German and the Italian speaking parts of the region, rises Roverè della Luna, the birth place of Claudio Michelotto, a good professional from 1966 to 1973, also having worn the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia for about 10 days in 1971. The peloton will pass through the finish city, Mezzolombardo, for the first time, and then will reach Mezzocorona, in the “Piana Rotaliana”, whose skyline is characterized by the Paganella mountainous group. In the city some historical building can be found, like the S. Maria Assunta church, with a bell tower from 1200, and it’s the ideal starting point for interesting excursion. Wine production and factoring is also mastered in the area.
The itinerary continues with the categorized climb to Fai della Paganella (1050 mt.). The Paganella group stands out over Trento and the Piana Rotaliana with its spectacular rock faces, cherished by climbers, and also hosts several touristic stations. The climb has a 7,5% average grandient, peaking at 11% in the early going, and it’s almost 10 km long, with an overall altitude difference of just over 700 mt. The town is a popular holiday location, both in summer and winter. A fast descent will take the riders to Spormaggiore, a “terrace” overlooking the Val di Non scenery that will be the setting of the last and decisive stage. After Rocchetta, with the ruins of an old fortess, the race gets back on flat in Mezzolombardo, among the vineyards of the popular “Teroldego”, a classic and refined red wine native from Trentino, a perfect match with red meat and cheese. Mezzolombardo is situated in between the Adige river and the Noce creek, with the original build-up area located in a higher position than the modern town, featuring commercial and craft activities. The historical city center is located at the foot of the Fausior Mount, with the main street showing noble buildings from 17th/18th century, elegant cafes and other shops. On a hill nearby, the beautiful gothic church of St. Peter and the Tower Castle (XVI century) are also worth a visit. The city is considered to be the “gate” to the Val di Non.
In such a land, there is plenty to choose among for the stage winner and race leader’s cheers.
TRENTINO AND TIROLO, A SOLID FRIENDSHIP AND A PROJECT FOR THE FUTURE
The long-time friendship between Trentino and Tirolo strengthens even further in the name of cycling. After the beautiful finish in Anras, a gala reception was given to celebrate this enduring relationship with a night dedicated to tradition, welcoming and future perspectives.
Franz Theurl, the President of Osttirol’s Tourism Board underlined the remarkable outcome – in sports terms, and beyond – of this very solid partnership, while GS Alto Garda President Giacomo Santini thanked the hosts for their warm welcoming, stressing that the collaboration between the areas could become even more important in a near future.
In fact, Tirol, Trentino and Alto Adige are currently examining the project of a new international race, the Euregio Tour, to unite the three regions in the name of cycling, matching areas and populations who got history and several common marks in common. Austrian Tirol’s Tourism Board President Josef Margreiter, also took part in the event.
It’s another sunny day for Giro del Trentino Melinda, even though more clouds are expected in the afternoon, with mild temperature through the whole day.