The fascination of cycling combined with the beauty of Val d’Orcia. The 4th stage of the Giro d’Italia Under 23, the race that takes the best Italian and world cyclists around Italy, took place on 17 June. This very demanding stage, the first with an uphill arrival, passed through Montalcino and saw the twenty-year old Veneto-born Fabio Mazzucco lose the pink jersey, which went to the Colombian, Andres Camilo Ardila (who went on to win the Giro). A caravan of 600 people was welcomed with curiosity and enthusiasm by the spectators present from the start at Buonconvento. It was there we met Davide Cassani, manager of the Italy national men’s road cycling team, and designer of this new Giro d’Italia Under 23 format, re-established after a five-year absence to give young riders the chance at a demanding testing ground. “We wanted to raise the level of our movement – explained Cassani – and we went all out to reorganise a race that has launched numerous champions, such as Moser, Baronchelli, Battaglini, Simoni and Pantani, into the professional sphere. This race gives our young cyclists the opportunity to show what they are capable of and to grow”.
New this year, the Giro passed along the historic Eroica, Nova Eroica and Eroica Montalcino routes. “This is cycling country, a place to race, to enjoy cycle tourism, pedal, drink, eat and see fantastic places” underscored Cassani. “Last week I pedalled these roads together with 30 friends. They are well-known areas, there are permanent routes and the dirt road is not like a paved road, it offers you a pleasant way to appreciate the natural environment. Those of us who do not have a number on our back can take our time to enjoy everything around us, the scenery and the beauty of silence. And, why not, a glass of Brunello. A glass is always a good thing, even more so when the wine is good”.