You fall asleep in Piedmont and wake up in Emilia-Romagna. Actually, it’s not really like that, you ride in the evening, sometimes at night. But the Giro-E has the same mechanism as the Grand Tours: it skips whole chunks of Italy to take in the best of the climbs and scenery. So, for the start of stage number 4, the electric cyclists were catapulted from Canale to Polinago, where the second three-star stage of this Giro-E 2021 got underway. From Barolo to Lambrusco, from white truffles to tigelle. Two faces of this splendid Belpaese of a thousand expressions and resources.
It was a tough stage. The weather was uncertain right from the start, with low clouds; then, in the last 30 kilometres, a lot of rain and temperatures around 10 degrees, until the arrival in Sestola. A stage for tough riders, not only because of the weather but also because of the characteristics of the route: 85.3 kilometres with a net 2000 metres of elevation gain, including some steep climbs such as the Muro dei matti in Montemolino, 500 metres with a 22% gradient. Thank goodness for the engine, thought many of the group, except perhaps the captains, but you can’t bet on that.
The character of the day does not pedal, but, if you like, does more. He is Luigi Ksawery Luca’, managing director of Toyota Motor Italia, which as well as supplying a fleet of 50 cars to the Giro d’Italia and the Giro-E, has been the car manufacturer of reference for sustainable mobility for twenty years, ever since the Prius hybrid appeared.
“We believe in the values of sport, because we like to give ourselves new limits and overcome them. It’s part of the Japanese culture: continuous improvement,’ says Luca. Sport embodies these values and our connection with sport is very strong. We are in our third year of partnership with the Giro d’Italia and the Giro-E. The bike represents sport par excellence, and at the same time it is a clean mobility solution that goes in our direction, namely that of sustainable mobility. Twenty years ago, we were the first to offer a hybrid car with our Prius. Since then we have put 16 million batteries and electric motors into circulation worldwide. That’s a record. Today we want to do more, to go beyond zero: zero emissions, zero pollution. Our ambition is to go beyond the limits, to provide solutions that bring well-being to society. The process of electrifying the car involves four solutions: full hybrid, full hybrid plug-in, battery electric and hydrogen. These solutions complement each other. To ensure that pollutants are reduced and consumption and CO2 are lowered, full hybrid and full hybrid plug-in are solutions that customers can already use directly. The others still need time, but when we are ready, zero emissions will become a reality”.