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Reminiscing About the Great 100th Giro d'Italia

Posted by Carol Sicbaldi


The Giro d'Italia celebrated 100 years this year, and the riders certainly felt the importance of this celebration. Ciclismo Classico tour guides Isacco Colombo and Alessandro Allegro recently returned from a glorious week on our Follow the Giro d'Italia trip. From tall tales about epic mountain passes to witnessing amazing stage arrivals and exclusive meet-ups with some of cycling's greatest modern heroes, both guides and guests are still reeling from the once-in-a-lifetime event. Read on to learn about these and other amazing trip highlights.Imagine the pure excitement that filled the air as our Ciclismo guides and guests rode up and down the same roads as the pros. Weaving through small villages and bigger towns alike, local Italians streaming the streets, lining the roadside barriers and awaiting in great anticipation for their favorite teams and athletes to pass by or simply to cheer on the peloton with the greatest energy and enthusiam possible. The peloton arrives following an endless parade of team cars, motorcycles and support vans. In what seems like just a blink of an eye or a flash, they vanish. These cyclists are fast.

With a Friday start in Sardinia, a visit to Sicily and venturing through most of strikingly beautiful Italy, this year's Girio brought us to a finishing time trial in Milano. Apart from a very short visit to Switzerland, the 100th edition of the Giro remained mostly on home turf and paid tribute to its dazzling past 'stars' and many of its star locations in history, including a number of historical and epic climbs. 

After the mid-mountain range of Sardinia, the first real climbs awaited the riders in Sicily where, after the Portella Femmina Morta, they rode up to finish at Sapienza mountain hut on top of the Etna volcano. Next, they left the islands to follow the coast until reaching the Blockhaus climb at Stage 9, the third real challenge in this year's Giro. 

The first-time trial stage was followed by another difficult stage in the Apennines just east of our beloved Florence—up and over the Passo della Comsuma, Passo della Calla, Sella di Raggio and Monte Fumaiolo.  

Our guests joined all the hoopla in Piedmont the day before the celebrated Tortona stage arrival. 
Amore infinito or infinite love. Photo credit: Carol Sicbaldi
One Ciclismo Classico guest commented about the remarkable "passion and dedication of the Italian people" for one of their most endearing national sports: il ciclismo. And of course, the 100th Giro d'Italia was one very special event.
Photo credit: Carol Sicbaldi
Ciclismo tour guide Isacco Colombo shares: "In a tour like this, specifically focused on the Giro d'Italia, the highlights are easy to imagine. We climbed mythical mountain passes like Oropa, Stelvio and Pordo, just to name a few."
Ciclismo guests climbing the famous Stelvio Pass. More than 24 kilometers of switchbacks with an avergage 7.4% grade.
Photo credit: Isacco Colombo
At stage 14, Ciclismo Classico guests bore witness to a great race tribute to Marco Pantani, climbing up the Monte Oropa, referring to Pantani and the Giro 1999 stage. "Big emotions were flying at the stage arrivals in Tortona, Canazei and Pordoi," says Colombo.
Photo credit: Alessandro Allegro
"In addition," says Colombo, "our guests had the amazing opportunity to meet Team Lotto NL Jumbo as well as a special in-person meeting with Nairo Quintana, otherwise known as 'Nairoman' of the Movistar Team."
Ciclismo Classico guests enjoying the climb. Photo credit: Isacco Colombo
Doris, a guest on our Follow the Giro trip, reflects: "For me, the highlights of the trip included getting interviewed by La Stampa with our guide Alessandro and getting our photo in a local Italian newspaper noting us as American tourists watching the Giro finish in Tortona."
So, until our 101st Follow the Giro d'Italia, salute!

Photo credit: Isacco Colombo


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