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Big names set to ride Il Giro di Sicilia

23/09/2021

The race’s provisional entry list is announced: big names including Nibali, Froome, Valverde, Bardet and Dombrowski will battle it out over four stages from 28 September to 1 October, alongside young prospects such as Fortunato, Velasco, Baroncini and Jensen.

Big names in the world of cycling are set to compete in Il Giro di Sicilia from 28 September, starting in Avola and ending in Mascali on Friday 1 October after four stages of racing.

 

Organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with the Regione Siciliana, this year’s race will see iconic riders from cycling’s ‘old guard’ take to the roads of Sicily, including: Vincenzo Nibali, winner of four Grand Tours (the 2013 and 2016 Giro d’Italia, 2014 Tour de France, 2010 Vuelta a España) and three Monument Classics (2015 and 2017 Il Lombardia, 2018 Milano-Sanremo), Chris Froome (2018 Giro d’Italia, the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Tour de France and 2011 and 2017 Vuelta a España), Alejandro Valverde (2009 Vuelta a España, four-time winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, five-time winner of La Flèche Wallonne, and the 2018 road world champion), Romain Bardet (two-time Tour de France podium finisher in 2016 and 2017 and King of the Mountains winner in the 2019 Tour de France) and Joe Dombrowski (stage winner at the recent Giro d’Italia).

 

These great champions will challenge the new generation at the race, led by Lorenzo Fortunato, a rider who triumphed atop the Zoncolan on Stage 14 of the 2021 Corsa Rosa. The race also welcomes Simone Velasco (2019 Trofeo Laigueglia), second place finisher in the under-23 European Road Race Championships Filippo Baroncini, as well as the Danish rider Mattias Skjelmose Jensen, a great revelation of the last UAE Tour (6th in the general classification). Joining them is the 20 year-old Puerto Rican national champion Abner Gonzalez, Thymen Arensman, 21 years old and third in the final time trial of the Vuelta a España, and the 19 year-old riders Finn Fisher-Black and Alastair MacKellar.

The stages

Stage 1: Avola – Licata 179 KM

Stage 2: Selinunte (Castelvetrano) – Mondello (Palermo) 173 KM

Stage 3: Termini Imerese – Caronia 180 KM

Stage 4: Sant’Agata di Militello – Mascali 180 KM

Route descriptions

Stage 1 – Avola – Licata

Route

An undulating stage in its first three quarters with a flat finish. The stage departs from the coast for a crossing of the hinterland that leads to the ascent of the only GPM of the day in Ragusa with the passage of Ibla. A long downhill section on mostly straight roads follows to reach the sea at Gela and onto the finish.

Last km

The last 10 kilometers run along the coast with slight undulations until Licata where the riders will turn left and then cross the town with a few right angle bends until a final turn that leads onto the slightly uphill finishing straight.

 

Stage 2 – Selinunte – Mondello

Route

A stage characterised by a series of “easy” undulations in the first part. It then climbs the Portella della Ginestra, with a series of tough climbs and descents until it reaches the coast after Partinico. The final 30km then begins where the riders will tackle the short but intense GPM of Carini and the subsequent approach to Palermo along challenging roads, some of which are markedly downhill and dotted with roundabouts.

Final km

A final section of the stage with a just a few half-curves on an asphalt surface with no particular obstacles to report. The finale takes place on an 8m wide straight stretch on level asphalt road.

Stage 3 – Termini Imerese – Caronia

Route

A stage that winds through Sicily with an uphill finish. It is a demanding stage in terms of altitude and is characterised by an uninterrupted succession of bends. The roads are of varying width and the surface is sometimes worn. The town crossings may have paved sections of various shapes. After Cerda, the riders will climb the interminable slope of the Forcella di Barfuco through “le Petralie” to reach Geraci Siculo. A very long descent follows before the GPM of Pollina (11km at around 6%) and then a short coastal stretch that leads to the final climb.

Last km

The last 3km are uphill at around 6% with higher peaks along a road that twists and turns towards the village. The finale takes place over 300m, on a 6m wide flat asphalt road.

 

Stage 4 – Sant’Agata di Militello – Mascali

Route

A high mountain stage with an arrival near the sea. It begins with a coastal section and then climbs the Portella Mandrazzi, which leads to the slopes of Etna. There is a short flat stretch to Linguaglossa and Piedimonte Etneo before descending to the sea at Riposto. The riders will pass the finish line for the first time to climb the Sciarra di Scorciavacca climb (one of Etna’s many slopes) from which they will rejoin the previous descent to Piedimonte Etneo. It’s then a quick dive to Fiumefreddo di Sicilia and an arrival in Mascali.

Last km

The last few kilometres are practically entirely ‘horizontal’ inside the built-up area of Mascali, with a wide U-turn on two curves that are far apart, leading to the final straight, with a slightly uphill stretch.

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