The 100-year anniversary edition of the Easter Monday Classic met with unanimous approval from athletes, authorities and the crowd, as witnessed by the 4,000 participants. The technical level keeps increasing: in the latest 10 years all winners became professionals riders
The organisers of the Pro Belvedere ASD had announced a memorable edition, and the one that took place on 10 April in the traditional setting of Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, Northern Italy) can be described as simply historic. In addition to being the 100th year since its foundation – with 84 editions held – the Easter Monday Classic involved a major part of the Cordignano community, with around 4,000 people cheering for cycling rising stars along the route. This was a remarkable step forward for the event, which also boasted a rich panel of side initiatives and an unprecedented route, appreciated by athletes, authorities and audience.
On the sport perspective, the international race for Under 23 was featured for the major part by Continental Teams, and was dominated by the Dutch super team Jumbo-Visma. Indeed, the Norwegian Johannes Staune-Mittet and the Dutchmen Loe Van Belle and Tijmen Graat took first, third and fourth place respectively. The victory of the Norwegian – whose jump to the yellow-and-black World Tour team is scheduled for 2024 – represents the tenth consecutive winner of the Belvedere who is set to enter the pro peloton. Before him, from 2013, are Stefan Küng, Simone Andreetta, Andrea Vendrame, Patrick Müller, Aleksandr Riabushenko, Robert Stannard, Samuele Battistella, Juan Ayuso and Romain Grégoire.
As an event in its whole, the Easter Monday Classic actively involved the Cordignano community starting in the morning, with the preliminary activities held in the iconic Villa Brandolini Zanussi, where local food and wine products and the Ferrari of the Scuderia Ferrari Club of Conegliano and Abano Terme took the spotlight.
After a few selfies with former cycling champions such as Claudio Chiappucci and Gilberto Simoni, as well as with Italian U23 Cycling Team TC Marino Amadori, and the authorities slicing the official cake, the team presentation and the neutral transfer warmed up an already electric atmosphere, with the roadside crowds flocking in for the entire four-hour race.
From the Conche to the Montaner climbs, the public never lacked support for the young athletes and stormed the new Piai della Vigna ascent, featured in the unprecedented central ring of the Giro del Buongustare: a short section yet steep section, with peaks of over 15% gradient and a setting worth of a great stage race.
“One hundred years are both a pride and a great responsibility for what is no longer just a cycling race but a true all-round event,” said the Pro Belvedere organisers.”The technical level of the participants has risen a lot in the last few years: from our side we want to thank the municipality, the sponsors and the volunteers for their support in the organisation, and the community of Cordignano for the enthusiasm they show towards us year after year”.