In Sicily, a historic renaissance and a step forward for an entire project
Tour of Sicily
From 3 to 6 April
With an ambitious agreement between the Regional Government and the company organising the Giro d’Italia, the Giro d’Italia is back after four decades of lethargy. The Kometa Cycling Team, invited by the promoters of this project to be one of the eighteen formations that will take part in the rebirth of the competition, will be present at four days of very high level cycling.
The recovered Giro de Sicilia, a race that came to light two years before the Giro d’Italia itself (1907 vs. 1909) and that experienced many interruptions until its definitive blackout at the end of the seventies (1977, specifically), has insured at least three editions and goes hand in hand with the next presence of the pink corsa in the island territory for at least two years, including Grande Partenza 2021. A bet of eleven million euros with a promotional and tourist backdrop that will be inspired in its route by missing events such as the Giro dell’Etna, disputed between 1980 and 1994 with a brief return between 2001 and 2004, or the Trofeo Pantalica, on the road between 1975 and 2003.
Isaac Cantón, José Antonio García, Juan Pedro López, Stefano Oldani, Antonio Puppio, Michel Ries and Diego Pablo Sevilla are the riders designated to face this demanding and mediatic sporting, personal and collective challenge. Oldani will arrive to the race two days after having taken part in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali summoned by the Italian national squad. “In two days we started the Giro de Sicilia, but I don’t think it’s going to be a special problem. If the condition is the same as we had in Croatia I think we can offer a very good image,” said the Milanese. “It’s going to be a good test for everyone”, says Juan Pedro López.
“I’m really looking forward to taking part in this race”, tells Michel Ries. The Luxembourger adds: “It is sure to be a very difficult race. Personally I think I have done a good training in recent weeks, so I look forward to competing again in this special place and with a finish in Etna on the last day. I think we have a very strong team, a team that has done a good job in the last few weeks. We can compete again with a good dose of motivation”.
This new Giro de Sicilia emerges as a very difficult challenge due to its varied layout. The first stage, Wednesday’s journey between Catania and Milazzo, presents an optimal route for the sprint despite the presence of Colle San Rizzo 55 km from the end. For Thursday, a marathon day of 236 kilometers between Capo d´Orlando and Palermo with a central area complicated by the ascent to the village Geraci Siculo and 50 kilometers later very sinuous.
The third stage, between Caltanissetta and Ragusa, has a complicated end due to the chained ascent to Serra di Burgio and the arrival in the town centre of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The end of the Saturday festival, the finishing touch of the race, comes from the hand of the well-known ascent to Mount Etna, up to the 1,892 meters of altitude where the Rifugio Giovanni Sapienza is located. An ascent that from the population of Nicolosi presents 20 kilometers to more than 7% on average, although the ascending tendency will come from much earlier in a stage of 122 kilometers.
Dario Andriotto, sports director of the Kometa Cycling Team: “It’s our first race of the season in Italy and it’s going to be very special. This invitation is an honour, as the organisation is the same as the Giro d’Italia and that means that they take our project into account, and a responsibility, because many of our main sponsors, with Kometa, Uvet and Openjobmetis at the front, are Italian. We are a very young team and in front of us we are going to have structures with much more tradition and sporting power, but we went to Sicily with all the desire and all the illusion of the world. It’s going to be a challenge, because the route won’t be easy at all and there will be a lot of competition. The final in Etna is going to be very hard. But there is also a stage of more than 230 kilometres. And the roads of Sicily are always very winding, very nervous”.
3rd April: Catania – Milazzo (165 km).
April 4: Capo d´Orlando – Palermo (236 km).
5th April: Caltanissetta – Ragusa (186 km).
6th April: Giardini Naxos – Monte Etna/ Rifugio Giovanni Sapienza (122 km).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)