The Sicilian Region and RCS Sport have signed a three-year deal that includes Il Giro di Sicilia, three stages of the 2020 Giro d’Italia and the Corsa Rosa’s Big Start in 2021. The stage race will be held from 3 to 6 April on the Italian island: four stages including a grand finale on Mount Etna. Rai will be the race Host Broadcaster, with two hours live every day. Broadcast will be in around 100 countries.
Palermo, 26 March 2019 – Professional cycling returns to its roots, with the four-stage race from 3 to 6 April, starting from Catania and finishing in Milazzo, Palermo, Ragusa and, on the final stage, the ascent to the top of Mount Etna, climbed from the classic Nicolosi side. The other Stage Start locations will be Capo d’Orlando, Caltanissetta and Giardini Naxos. After 42 years since its last edition, Il Giro di Sicilia returns in style: a stage race on the island at the heart of great cycling. Thanks to a three-year deal between the Sicilian Region and RCS Sport, the island will see not only Il Giro di Sicilia’s return, but also three Giro d’Italia stages in 2020 and the Corsa Rosa’s Big Start in 2021.
From left: Head of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment of the Sicilian Region, Sandro Pappalardo, President of the Sicilian Region, Nello Musumeci, RCS Sport CEO, Paolo Bellino and Open Fiber Head of Communication and Media Relations, Alessandro Zerboni
Nello Musumeci, President of the Sicilian Region, said: “Bringing a prestigious cycling competition like Il Giro di Sicilia back to the Island, after 42 years, fills us with pride. An initiative that, as well as putting us under the sport’s spotlights, strengthens the image of a Region that is finally starting to return to general attention in every sector, including that of competitive sport. The three-year agreement signed by my Government with RCS Sport goes in this direction and will ensure strong visibility and an important impact in terms of tourism.
“In addition to Il Giro di Sicilia, in fact, the island will once again be the protagonist of the Giro d’Italia, with some stages already next year. In 2021, instead, with the Corsa Rosa starting right from Sicily, we will receive the attention of millions of fans of the noble art of pedalling. To them, beyond the excitement of the competition, we can offer unique and exciting routes and a panorama that, I am sure, will not go unnoticed and that will prove to be a worthy setting for such a glorious event.”
Paolo Bellino, RCS Sport CEO, said: “We’ve done great teamwork over a long period with the Sicilian Region to be able to announce this three-year deal today. This project has a precise strategy: returning Il Giro di Sicilia to its former glory and holding the Giro d’Italia here in Sicily over the next few years. The island of Sicily is extraordinary, as are its inhabitants, rich in culture, tradition and history, surrounded by a wonderful sea and with food that’s second to none. Sicily is the ideal place to ride, across every season of the year, and I’m sure that, in the future, it will be possible to organise sportive events here too. This synergy develops tourism and becomes an accelerator for the economy of the territory hosting the events.”
Elisabetta Ripa, Open Fiber CEO, the race’s main sponsor, said: “Open Fiber is proud to support the return of such an important sporting event. Our mission is to connect, through a network of fibre optic telecommunication cables, the whole of Italy: from the main cities to the most isolated hamlets, a little like a bike race that goes through the territory and unifies it thanks to the values of sport.”
IL GIRO DI SICILIA – HISTORIC FACTS
- Il Giro di Sicilia is one of the oldest Italian stage races: the first edition was raced in 1907, two years before the birth of the Giro d’Italia.
- From 1907 to 1977 Il Giro di Sicilia was held 18 times, all stage races, and these editions were all won by Italian riders.
- The first winner was Carlo Galetti, who went on to win the Giro d’Italia twice: in 1910 and 1911 (and in 1912 as part of Team Atala, the first and only time the Giro was awarded to a team).
- The last winner was a 19-year-old Giuseppe Saronni in 1977, who also went on to win the Giro d’Italia overall twice: in 1979 and 1983.
Stage 1 – CATANIA – MILAZZO – 165km
An almost entirely flat stage, with the exception of the Colle San Rizzo climb just after Messina. The first part runs along the coast with a few non-challenging climbs and descents, punctuated by the more testing climb up to Taormina. The KOM is on the Colle San Rizzo after Messina, followed by flat roads towards the final 10km, which is raced entirely on the Milazzo peninsula.
Stage 2 – CAPO D’ORLANDO – PALERMO – 236km
The stage is divided into three separate parts: flat, mountain, then flat again. The first runs along the coast with no particularly difficult sections. The second section is in the island’s internal area with mountains until reaching Geraci Siculo (KOM) followed by Petralia Soprana. A descent towards the coast follows, where the stage continues flat, right until the finish in Palermo.
Stage 3 – CALTANISSETTA – RAGUSA – 188km
This stage runs in the internal part of Sicily with a mixed finale of climbs and descents. It’s a challenging stage with continuous up and downs and an uninterrupted series of curves for the first 120km. The roads have variable widths, with some sections in towns and villages that are cobbled. Once in Vittoria, where the stage flattens for a short distance, the course runs through the towns of Vittoria and Comiso to then face the climb of Serra di Burgio that will lead, after a fast descent, straight to Ragusa for the finale in the city centre.
Stage 4 – GIARDINI NAXOS – ETNA (Nicolosi) – 119km
The final stage is characterised by two distinct sections: the first goes around Mount Etna reaching the commune of Maletto at 1,000m, site of the KOM. There starts a long descent, always around the volcano, until the onset of the final climb that starts in Nicolosi. Once near the race finale, the course goes along several narrow town roads.