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Giro-E Enel 2024 – Stage 19 Tolmezzo – Sappada


Sappada, 24 May 2024 – The Giro-E starts today from Tolmezzo, hometown of Jonathan Milan, the blue giant who won Olympic gold in the team pursuit on the track at Tokyo 2020 and has already had three stage successes in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Absolutely a good omen for a cycling event, even if Milan’s engine is in his muscles, while that of electric cyclists is hidden in the frame or in the hub of the rear wheel. Today we will have to make it work, because we are going up to Cima Sappada, a classic, long (8.5 kilometres) and tough climb, because while the average gradient is 4.7%, the last three and a half kilometres are at 8.6% with peaks of 15; and in their legs the cyclists will already have the more modest, but still challenging, Sella Valcalda. In short, an interesting stage: 58 kilometres with an altitude range of 1,700 metres, and the last climbs of the Giro-E 2024, because tomorrow, unlike the professionals of the Giro, the electric caravan moves to Rome for the grand finale on Sunday. So there will be no time to visit the beautiful Tolmezzo, the gateway to Carnia, and the villages of Sappada, a mountain resort of ancient origins.

 The Tolmezzo-Sappada stage

Tolmezzo has been crossed several times by the Giro d’Italia, but only in 2018 did it host a start (curiously with arrival in Sappada: basically the same stage as this year’s Giro-E, but with a different distance, of course).Sappada has been the stage location for the Giro d’Italia three times: the first one in 1987 entered the history of the Corsa Rosa for what was dubbed the “the great betrayal”, or when Roche attacked his teammate Visentini in the maglia rosa, taking the leadership symbol at the end of the stage (won by Van der Velde); the second time was the start of the following day of that edition, while the third was the arrival of 2018 with a victory for Simon Yates. Today the Giro-E starts immediately on the professional roads, then covers an off-road stretch of around fifteen kilometres before going back close to Cercivento followed by the final 41 kilometres. Bike school today, because between GPM, Cima Sappada and the seven mixed kilometres of downhill, double-digit gradients and slight slopes from the top of the hill to the finish line, you really need to know how to be in the saddle, motors aside.


Cyclist of the day – Marco Elefanti

Not just sportsmen at the Giro-E. In fact the participants are people from the most varied professions, united by a common passion, or interest, for cycling. This is the case for Marco Elefanti, general director of the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic Foundation, the largest hospital in Rome. In the capital he travels with a folding bike, in Milan he prefers a gravel bike.

“I did two stages this year and I took part last year too. I think the Giro-E is a wonderful initiative. It’s a great way to do physical activity, with a para-competitive component that’s enjoyable. I love cycling, but I have never been a cycling enthusiast. Well, I discovered that among the public there is still an extraordinary interest in and closeness to cycling. Passing between two wings of the crowd cheering you on is truly exciting. Getting to know the territories is another splendid opportunity, which is thanks to the pedal-assisted bicycle. I am sixty years old and cycling is a perfect sporting activity for my age. Football and tennis, which I have always played, have now become difficult for me due to problems with my lower joints, but cycling allows you to play sport at any age. I am not a doctor, I have managerial responsibilities, but it is perfectly clear to me that sport, together with nutrition, is the key to longevity.”

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