The best cycling U23 talents worldwide gathering at the Giro del Belvedere 100-year edition, on April 10th. 33 teams, 19 of which UCI Continental, will fight on the new 171 km route, aiming at the title won last year by French star Romain Grégoire
The wait is almost over. Monday, April 10th, in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, Northern Italy) Giro del Belvedere will celebrate its 100-year anniversary, with a very special edition of the U23 international cycling race. A historic milestone for the Easter Monday Classic, which saw its first event in 1923: through the years, 83 editions were carried out, showcasing some young talents who turned out to be also great champions in the Pro category.
From the very first winner, Alfonso Piccin, to the latest one, Romain Grégoire, Giro del Belvedere kicked-off the careers of riders like Maurizio Fondriest, Silvio Martinello, Ivan Gotti, Jaroslav Popovič, Stefan Küng and Juan Ayuso. Once again in 2023, the best U23 talents on the international scene will show off on the roads of what many define as a Spring World Championship, fighting for a chance in the Pro category.
For the Centennial edition, the organizers of Pro Belvedere ASD added a new loop and a new climb to the race, making it longer and even more challenging. For instance, the unprecedented route is 171 km long with 1.920 m of difference in altitude, and features three rings. After the first loop, to be repeated eight times, with the traditional Conche climb, the riders will tackle for three times the new segment and the new ascent of Piai della Vigna.
Following this new feature on the route, the peloton will head back to the first loop for another three times, before riding twice on the final and likely decisive ring. Here the Montaner, tackled from its harder side on Borgo Canalet, and the Via della Longhe ascent will bring the race back to the finish line in Villa di Cordignano.
Lining-up at the Easter Classic there will be 165 athletes on 33 teams. 17 of them are from Italy, while 16 are international (Italian Work Service-Vitalcare-Dynatek and German Saris Rouvy Sauerland were forced to withdrawal due to Covid reasons), and not less than 19 teams can boast the UCI Continental status. Reigning champion and among the favorite is Groupama FDJ, following the solo win of French rising star Romain Grégoire, who in 2022 sprinted over Federico Guzzo (Zalf Euromobil Désirée Fior) and Per Strand Hagenes (Jumbo-Visma Development Team) with a few km to go. Jumbo-Visma is also among the contenders, and it’s targeting its first win ever in Treviso.
Many international teams must be watched out from: Hagens Berman Axeon, with the Junior World Champion Emil Herzog, as well as Spanish Eolo-Kometa, while Astana Qazaqstan will line-up the Vinokurov twins, Alexandre and Nikolya, sons of art of former Olympic Champion and now team’s GM Aleksandr.
On the other hand, Italian teams must not be underestimated. Starting from Bardiani-CSF-Faizané (UCI Professional) to Zalf Euromobil Désirée Fior – the most winning squad in the last 15 years -, Italy’s chances are on Giacomo Villa (Team Biesse Carrera), latest winner of Trofeo Piva, and on the rookies, Team Technipes #inEmiliaRomagna, led by former National Team TC Davide Cassani, and 36.5 Continental Cycling Team, where Vincenzo Nibali is technical advisor.
“We planned great things for such a special occasion – said Gianfranco Carlet, leader of the OC -. The Centennial-year edition will be one for the ages. I want to thank all the public and private institutions, all our sponsors and volunteers, which allowed us to create a proper festive day, to restore the gourmet ring “Giro del Buongustare” for enhancing the products of our area, and to improve the race route. We might be 100-year old now, but we still look up to the future”.
Beside the race (start at 1.30 PM CEST), a full side-events panel will kick-off since the morning. By the iconic building of Villa Brandolini Rota Zanussi, the teams’ presentation and technical briefing will be held, alongside with a welcome buffet lunch for sponsors, authorities and guests. A gourmet tour will also be located on the part of the racecourse, so called “Giro del Buongustare”, as it’s meant to showcase the food&wine excellences of the area. Furthermore, members of the Scuderia Ferrari Club Conegliano e Abano Terme will gather by the Villa, and parade on the final kilometers of the route behind the race-end vehicle.
Live commentary of the race will be available here: www.girodelbelvedere.it/diretta-live-2023/.
Among the special guests, there will be the Tourism Councillor for Veneto Region, Federico Caner, the Mayor of Cordignano, Roberto Campagna, the Italian Olympic Committee President for Veneto Region, Dino Ponchio, the President of Italian Cycling Federation for Veneto Region, Stefano Cecchin, and U23 Cycling National Team TC Marino Amadori.
In addition, the event will be featured by former cycling champions such as Dino Zandegù, Gianni Giacomini, Silvio Martinello, Claudio Chiappucci, Gilberto Simoni, and current professional rider for Team Cofidis, Davide Cimolai.