The Aosta Valley and its loa to the mountains, a key objective for the Kometa Cycling Team
56º Giro Ciclístico Valle d´Aosta
From 16 to 21 July
Few, very few tests concentrate the orographic hardness that the Giro del Valle de Aosta presents year after year. The Italian race is one of the most demanding events on the international calendar and its final winner is assured of a future in cycling. Aosta is a prestigious success for any winner and beyond the vicinity of dates with the Tour de France are many eyes awaiting the developments of this race that is, as its motto proclaims, “where the champions are born. In 2018, in its first season of existence, the continental structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation fought until the end for this race, where the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar became the yellow jersey and finally finished second.
Juan Pedro López, a fundamental support of Inkelaar a year ago in the defense of the leadership and seventh in the overall final, now faces the test as one of the two assets of the Kometa Cycling Team to fight for absolute victory. The Sevillian set a great performance, a job much more remarkable for the sensitive loss in the first stage of two companions (Awet Habtom, Wilson Peña) as a result of crashes. Now, in 2019, both he and the Luxembourger Michel Ries come with the gallons. Italians Stefano Oldani, Antonio Puppio and Samuele Rubino complete the ‘five’ of the Madrid squad. The aspirations are the maxims.
This edition of the Giro del Valle de Aosta grows in one stage and adds, to the usual stage on French soil (which will take place on Wednesday), another day in Switzerland, the penultimate. Beyond the absolutely flat prologue in the streets of Aosta, a time trial where Antonio Puppio has a good opportunity to show his great talents again in the fight against the clock, the remaining five days are a loa a la montaña which, with three finals high in the race, will have its zenith on Sunday. A last stage that will conclude again in the very long and demanding winter season of Cervinia, at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres.
Cormet de Roselend, Cold des Saises, Montée de Le Bettex, Verrogne, Valsavareche, Champlong, Joux, Champremier, Petite Forclaz, Col du Lein, Col des Planches or Champex Lac, of course Cervinia also, will be some of the seventeen ascents that the riders will have to face during these six days. A menu rich in slopes where it will be as important a good management of the ascents as of the descents. In the proposal of the organization will not miss a stretch of sterrato, present in the first part of the arrival in Valsavareche.
“I believe that Giro Baby, the Tour del Porvenir and the Giro del Valle de Aosta are the three hardest and most important races that exist in the current panorama. The hardness of a race at the end is totally proportional to the level of its participants and their strength, but in Aosta there are no flat stages or nervous stages. It’s a perfect race for a good climber who also descends well,” says Samuele Rubino, the youngest member of the Kometa Cycling Team. “Personally I feel very well, I’ve prepared a lot Aosta, I’m like never before in my life and I arrive hungry”, he adds.
Michel Ries, who has practically forgotten his fractures during the descent of the Santuario del Acebo in the last Vuelta a Asturias: “I have been a season concentrated in altitude in the Alps in order to prepare myself as well as possible to face Aosta and to find a good form point after my injury. I think that my preparation has been very good and, above all, I am very motivated to return to the competition with my teammates”.
In Aosta Fabio Aru has won twice, Thibaut Pinot has also won, in his day a double winner of the Giro d’Italia like Ivan Gotti has won and in the last times the victory corresponded to the emergent Pavel Sivakov. Many other great names have passed through this race. Franco Chioccioli, Claudio Chiapucci, Alberto Volpi, Andrea Noé, Gilberto Simoni, Enrico Zaina, Yaroslav Popovych, Damiano Cunego, Davide Formolo, Daniel Martin… Enric Mas, second in the 2016 edition, is the only Spanish cyclist who has managed to reach the final podium of the race.
16 July: Aosta-Aosta (2.7 km CRI).
17 July: Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise – Saint Gervais Mont Blanc (126 km).
18 July: Aymavilles – Valsavareche (137.6 km).
19 July: Antagnod – Champoluc (179.7 km).
20 July: Orsières – Champex Lac (126 km).
21 July: Valtournenche – Breuil Cervinia (120.2 km).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)