Very pleased to see the Italian Road Cycling Championships 2017 arriving in my hometown of Ivrea in the province of Turin, Italy. The race started in Asti, went across the Piedmont, through the Canavese area and finished with a 4 laps around Ivrea and up the Serra Morenica hill.
It’s great (for me) to see that this land is becoming more and more considered by the pro riders and the professional cycling event organisers. It offers a variety of terrain perfect for cycling, touring and training, going from undulating landscapes to steeper hills and mountains.
There has been a beautiful stage of the Giro d’Italia finishing by the Sanctuary of Oropa, just above the town of Biella, on the Biellese side of the Serra Morenic Hill. The cherry on the cake has been the presence of most Italian top cyclists, and the victory of Fabio Aru, as most of us spectators were hoping. Vincenzo Nibali was there too, and many other professional cyclists that we usually see on TV when competing in bigger events.
The National Championships is actually a great opportunity to get close to these pro cyclists, to get an autograph or a selfie, and maybe even a few words as they are much more relaxed than in a Giro d’Italia or Tour de France stage.
It was great to see the smile of joy on Aru’s face, an emotional moment when, on the podium, he dedicated his victory to Michele Scarponi. It’s very touching to see that the Astana Proteam keep images of Scarponi on the Team Bus and that they keep mentioning him, sharing anecdotes & jokes and the good times spent with the late Michele. He was such a great companion and a big loss for the cycling and non-cycling world.
Coming back to Fabio Aru’s victory, on the last lap Dario Cataldo kept a fast pace at the start of the Serra hill climb, to get Fabio in the best position for his winning attack, and it worked to perfection, as the road got steeper ( gradient over 15% above the town of Chiaverano) Fabio went full gas leaving everyone behind. At the top of the climb there is still a fair bit to cycle back down to Borgofranco and then to Ivrea for the finish, but he managed to get a fantastic solo win….well done Fabio Aru!! It’s going to be a promising and very exciting Tour de France 2017 to watch.
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