And here is another day in which dreaming costs nothing, in which you can think about making your mark, in which it is not a gamble to believe. Here is the Marco Pantani Memorial, the race wanted and designed to remember the unforgettable “Pirate” and which will arrive as per tradition in the Cesenatico that was the home of the Italian champion.
Last year it was the bad weather that ruined everything, an insistent and incessant rain that forced the organizers to cancel the race: this year the sea and the climbs of Romagna are ready to welcome the group for an increasingly important appointment with an increasingly high level. The 2023 edition offers riders several novelties on a 193.3-kilometer route: start from Riccione to go and attack the climbs of Verrucchio, that of Passo delle Siepi, the GPM of Cima Gorolo and then jump into the circuit of Longiano. It will be here that the greatest difficulties will be encountered, with the four planned passes involving the climb of the Crocetta and especially the Wall of via Belvedere, which features 11 percent points. A now-selected group will then head towards the finish in Cesenatico to tackle a 5-kilometer circuit to be repeated four times until the finish in Via Carducci right next to the monument dedicated to Marco Pantani.
EOLO KOMETA will be at the start with young Fran Munoz making his debut after the official move to the pro ranks, flanked by Fernando Tercero, Alex Martin, Andrea Garosio and Francesco Gavazzi. The two spikes will be Lorenzo Fortunato and Vincenzo Albanese.
Francesco Gavazzi won this race in 2016 and tomorrow he will run it for the last time in his career before his retirement announced for the end of the year: right, dutiful, to have it presented by him: “This is a very beautiful race, which obviously has a special flavor for me because I also managed to win it. Compared to past years, however, the course has changed a lot, before there were longer and more pedalable climbs, now there are drier and harder climbs. However, what makes a race more or less hard is not only its route, but also the riders who make it: at the start tomorrow there will be many champions and it is easy to predict that they will make a very hard race right away. We have Albanese who can really make a good race, he has shown that he is in good shape and the course suits his characteristics: we will race for him.”