Giro del Trentino starts today

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Giro del Trentino starts today. A four day stage race, it is the opening Alpine race of the year and good contest in its own right. But it is a crucial test ahead of the Giro d’Italia. This year’s edition also features some wild climbing. Here’s a quick look.

Why it matters
Italy has many stage races but this one has a particular value ahead of the Giro d’Italia. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for the overall contenders. The stages are detailed below but there’s a team time trial in Trentino just like the Giro, an event where practice matters. There are two big mountain stages as well.

Any rider wanting to win the Giro will be finalising their training now. There’s only a couple of weeks to the start of the race and normally no more big gains in fitness are possible. Plus riders can calibrate their fitness in a competitive scenario on the fearsome Punta Veleno climb.

Where’s Trentino?
Trento
It’s a province of Italy in the north, dominated by the Dolomites, a chain of mountains that are part of the Alps. There are high peaks and ski resorts, as well as giant mountain passes which are a regular feature of the Giro d’Italia and they appear in this race too, of which more below. Lower down the mountains the area is famous in Italy for its apple orchards and beyond Italy for its white wines.

The most famous of cyclists from the region is probably Francesco Moser. A superb time triallist, he won the Giro once, broke the hour record, was world champion and won Paris-Roubaix three times in a row, just to list a few highlights. Today he’s a winemaker and Cantine Moser is one of the race sponsors.

The race is the first Alpine race of the year, marking the time when the snow is in retreat and the pastures are open and spring returns to the mountains.

The race
There are four stages.

Stage 3

  • Stage 1 is today. A team time trial of 14km, it is an ideal test for teams ahead of the Giro d’Italia and its team time trial in Verona.
  • Stage 2 is hilly bordering in mountainous with the Passo Redebus and then an uphill finish at around 5% to the spa town of San Orsola Terme
  • Stage 3 is all about the final climb, the Punta Veleno. It is 8.5 km long with an average road grade of 15% and reaches 20% in certain parts as it zigzags up jagged hairpin bends. The riders will cross the top, descend briefly before finishing on a slight rise.
  • Stage 4 is Alpine and the day’s profile is ramp-shaped, leading to the giant Passo Pordoi. Often a key climb of the Giro, the Pordoi is 2239 metres above sea level but after the Punta Veleno yesterday the milder 5-6% gradients will be a relief. Let’s hope it is open.

TV
Italian broadcaster RAI are showing it and Eurosport too. You should be able to pick up a pirate internet feed from the usual sources. If you want to watch, Thursday’s Stage 3 with the Punta Veleno should be the highlight.

Riders
The start list is on the race website. Amongst the riders look for Michele Scarponi and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Carlos Bettancur and Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone), Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF) and José Rujano (Androni). Betancur, Pozzovivo and Scarponi all looked very strong in Sunday’s Giro dell’Appenino.

The full website includes stage profiles, timetables and more and it’s in English too: http://www.girodeltrentino.com/EN/

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{ 23 comments }

Frogboy April 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

I would very much like to see the dynamic duo of Hubert Dupont and John Gadret run a great race in preparation for the Giro where they hope to repeat their success from last year. Unfortunately I think Pierre Rolland might not be in the best of shape after his knee injury and viral infection earlier in the season. The “Venomous Peak” might have suited him. I look forward to some good internet viewing with this Wednesday’s Fleche Wallonne and Thursday’s stage 3, which will be epic, weather permitting…

Larry T. April 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

This always gets me excited about the upcoming Giro d’Italia. We still don’t get the RAI Sport channels down here in Sicily (maybe next year?) so we’ll check in via the ‘net. Thanks for the nice preview, great job as usual. And for a shameless commercial plug we have a few places left on our Legendary Climbs tour in July if someone would like to sample most of the, well….legendary climbs of the Dolomites as well as the Gavia, Stelvio, Mortirolo and more. Details here http://www.cycleitalia.com/legendary-climbs-east-dolomites.htm

Tricky Dicky April 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

This race looks a cracker. It’s a shame a few more world tour teams aren’t in it. Anyway, good luck to Will Clarke and Cam Wurf – expect at least one of them in a breakaway. How do you go about tackling a climb as fearsome as that stage 3 climb? Getting the gearing wrong could be catastrophic – 39×29 or even lower?

Larry T. April 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I’ll bet we’ll see a few compact setups with 34 tooth inner chainrings on this stage.

Robert Merkel April 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Yeah, I think 34/32 or 34/34 would be the go, even for the pros.

I ran some calculations, and I reckon a 34/28 would give a pro putting out 5W/kg an average cadence in the mid to high 60s on a 50% slope. 34/32 would be in the mid-70s. 34/34 gets you to low 80s.

I’d hate to think what I’d want as an amateur tackling this stage. IRD compact triplizer chainring, perhaps?

The Inner Ring April 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm

There comes a point where you a faster walking/running!

Bruno Sousa April 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm

We have a nasty 4,5km / 15% average climb here in Rio and there’s an annual challenge between runners and cyclists. Bycicles usually win by a very small margin – 17 minutes for the first cyclist, 19 for the first runner. Before it happened, I always thought runners would take a lot longer – that’s an average of around 15km/h going uphill. Would love to see a similar challenge in a 15 or 20km climb, between pro cyclists and pro runners.

Dave April 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Shames me to say it, but I’d never heard of this race until just now. But once again INRNG puts it all into perspective – well done!

Jennifer April 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Can I please have a summer home here? Every picture from this race seems to be gorgeous. Think I’ve spent two years learning the wrong language.

The Inner Ring April 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

It is a stunning region. The lake they rode past today is very scenic and now they head for the hills and then the mountains. But stick to the southern half of France and you’ll find plenty of places to chose for the summer home.

Bundle April 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Trentino has a huge water supply: the rivers born in the Tyrolean mountains converge around Trento. When the weather gets warmer, it almost feels like a tropical jungle, everything grows lavishly, and that’s why fruit is so good and plentiful there. The moment to go there is now. For the summer, I agree the south of France is a great, slightly drier, choice.

Cat4Fodder April 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Wouldn’t a few of the recent Spanish/Basque races be the first real mountain stage races?

The Inner Ring April 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm

We had the Jebel Akhdar in Oman. But I meant Alpine as in the Alps, Europe’s largest and highest mountain range.

Cat4Fodder April 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Punta Veleno sounds a bit like Magnolia road here in the Denver / Boulder area.

Larry T. April 18, 2012 at 7:34 am

.” The DS, Cenghialta, went after the stage to see the Punta Veleno ascent: “It is really impressive. I went to see it and it is very hard… with the car!! We will use 34×28 for the climb.”

From Italian Cycling Journal -http://italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.it/2012/04/2012-giro-del-trentino-stage-1.html

No argument the Garda area is beautiful, as is most of Italy. This area is especially popular with folks from Germany.

Bundle April 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Damiano Cunego won today. At long last a victory for him.
What I don’t understand is why climbing teams such a Rabobank, Movistar, Europcar, Katiusha, and most of all Euskaltel, choose to be absent and be busier in the Ardennes.

Frogboy April 19, 2012 at 1:19 am

I, too, am pleased to see Damiano Cunego take his first win of the season.
However, Team Europcar is racing in the Giro Del Trentino, they’re just not very visible since their best placed rider, Pierre Rolland, is only in 32nd spot, over 2 minutes back. They also chose this race over La Fleche Wallonne, where they probably could have gotten an invitation, had they asked for it.
Dupont and Gadret up the hill tomorrow!

Bundle April 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

Indeed, Frogboy. Let’s see what Rolland is up to today, but I would also put more money on Gadret.

The Inner Ring April 19, 2012 at 9:45 am

Gadret’s returning from injury, he’s not in best shape yet. Perhaps team mate Hubert Dupont will do better?

Watch Pozzovivo today.

Bundle April 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Spot on!

trekyoself April 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

first post.
Great site, one of the best of its kind. Decent writing is so hard to find. Thanks.
I have been trying to watch the Giro del Trentino online since the first stage and I can’t get it anywhere. Does anyone know a good link to view the race streaming or delayed in the USA? I’d like to see today’s (stage 3) and stage 4 live if possible. Thanks.

The Inner Ring April 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Welcome. Today’s highlights are http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zifBTLm1c1A

Try the Cycling Fans link on the “Shift Gears” section up on the right of the page where you’ll find live video streaming.

Tomorrow’s stage finishes on the Passo Pordoi, a very big mountain pass although not the most steep.

Larry T. April 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Passo Pordoi remains my favorite mountain pass – period. The ratio of effort to reward on this climb is unequaled by any other that I’ve done…though I’ve never climbed it in conditions like they faced today. From either side it’s an enjoyable ride, tough but not murderous, while the descent (again, of either side) is more than enough reward for the climbing!

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