“Trentino in Giro”: uphill finale in Austria (Arco-Anras)

Stage 2 (Arco-Anras, 220,3 km) provides magnificient sceneries and a 4 km uphill finish at a 7% average gradient.

Good morning from 40th Giro del Trentino Melinda. After the team time trial won by Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana, with Valerio Agnoli in the leader’s jersey, the race heads to Austria for the second effort from Arco to Anras over 220,3 km, the longest stage of the edition. It’s the eight time that Giro del Trentino Melinda trespasses the Austrian border: last time it had been in Lienz, in 2013. The riders are up for a demanding route, and the race is expected to light in the late kilometers, on the 4 km climb to the finish.

START FROM ARCO, THE “CUDDLE” OF GDTM

Arco was first the “cuddle”, and then the home of Giro del Trentino: organizing company GS Alto Garda is based here. After the neutral start, the race will breeze through Dro, by the Sarca river, surrounded by orchards (the plums are particularly famous) and olive trees, and characterized by the rocky debris sedimentation of the “Marocche”. Then, the race will enter in Sarche, in the Lakes Valley, opening on the beautiful view of the Toblino Lake, with a castle located in a big garden on a peninsula. After passing Vezzano, the riders will race Trentino’s main city, Trento, through Cadine, under the shade of the Monte Bondone, before moving north on the Brennero way.

Trento, crossed by the Adige river, is the main juncture of the communication fluxes through the famous valleys. Its long history is reflected in its buildings: the Roman-Gothic Dome and the charming square upfront, the exclusive via Belenzani, the Buonconsiglio Castle with its Museum. Culture and arts flourish in a relaxed lifestyle, in a city that also offers fine food and wine specialties. Just before reaching Lavis, on the mountains on the right side of the route, rises the Maso Warth, revitalized by Francesco Moser with his entrepreneurial activity and his passion for wine and agriculture.

Following on the Brennero way, the race passes through Lavis, San Michele all’Adige, Mezzocorona, lands renowned for the wine production, before entering the Province of Bolzano wines,  crossing Salorno, with its Castle, Egna, Ora e Laives. Bolzano, the main city of Alto Adige, features several activities in its industrial area, as well as a charming historical center with beautiful buildings and the fine Gothic dome, and where the cultural influences of Italy and the Germanic area are mixed together. But the peloton keeps winding North: it passes through Cardano, Prato all’Isarco, Campodazzo, Barbiano, at the foot of the Renon plateau, and then it finds Chiusa, with the Sabiona cliff, and through a slight ascent reaches the historical Bressanone, the medieval city rising in the middle of the Val Isarco, also characterized by its bridges. This is the native land of several Winter sports champions.

Then there is Varna, in whose surroundings the amazing Novacella Abbey can be found, followed by the categorized climb of Naz-Sciaves, located on a characteristic plateau. The race passes through Rio Pusteria in the Val Pusteria, overlooked by the Freienthurn Castle, Vandoies di Sotto, with its famous waterfalls, Chienes with the Casteldarne Castle, San Lorenzo di Sebato, in the Val Badia, embellished by two beautiful castles, and then the lumpy roads will lead the peloton to Brunico. The main center of the Val Pusteria, surrounded by charming mountains and characterized by peculiar architecture and monuments, is a popular destination for vacation all year round. It is crossed by the Pusteria Valley cycle path and, still about cycling, former MTB World Champion and current Italian MTB National Team Coach Hubert Palhuber hails from here.

THE PUSTERTAL SCENERY AND THE “CYCLISTIC” AUSTRIA

Perca, Monguelfo, Villabassa will be passed on the way to Dobbiaco, the main center in Val Pusteria, an important crossing for several routes as well as a touristic center, and then San Candido, with the ancient Collegiata complex, the most notable example of Romanic architecture in the area. After that, only Versciaco and Prato alla Drava, the name of the river flowing in the Austrian side of the Val Pusteria, are left before breaking into Austria, Eastern Tirol, Lienz district, one with a strong relationship with cycling after having hosted both Giro del Trentino and Giro d’Italia on several occasions.

Travelling through the wide and beautiful valley, the riders will find Sillian, a sports-devoted touristic venue both in summer and winter, as well as the near Abfaltersbach. From here, the road starts rising up to the finish in Anras, a small village whose build-up areas are sparse over a sunny slope. It was once considered the “granary” of the Pustertal, and the touristic development over the past few years did not affect all the natural beauties of the area, offering modern accommodation solutions as well as several ski lifts.

CYCLING AND OSSTIROL

Cycling has a long-time tradition in Tirol, also strengthened by important amateur events. On June 12th, 2016, the 29thDolomitenradrundfahrt“, one of the major cycling marathon. On the same day, its more extreme version will also take place – the 3rdSuperGiroDolomiti“, with its 232 km and 5,234 mt altitude difference. The route starts in Osttirol and travels through Carintia, in Italy, before heading back to Lienz. Those who are not looking for such extreme challenges and also treat his cycling passion on classic bike routes like Drava and Iselradweg, or on the over 2000 km of mountain bike routes.

Additionally, in 2018, Tirol is set to host the UCI Cycling Road Championships in Innsbruck.

THE WEATHER

Favorable conditions on the race, it is sunny and chilly in Anras (1200 mt). An ideal day for the challenge through Pustertal and Tirol.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO… GIANNI MOSCON

Special day for the young Trentino’s rider of Team Sky, Gianni Moscon. Not only did he start with the KOM green jersey, but he celebrates his 22nd birthday. Have a great one!