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Il Giro di Sicilia returns: the island welcomes its race home

16/09/2021

The Giro di Sicilia Eolo starts once again thanks to an agreement between the Regione Siciliana and RCS Sport, with an edition that promises to be spectacular – both for its race route and for the period of the year in which it takes place, the opening of the autumn season.
On Tuesday 28 September from Avola the next edition of Il Giro di Sicilia begins. The race is home once more after its return in 2019, after 42 years of absence, before the pandemic stopped it again in 2020.

The fascinating sporting event, brought back into the cycling spotlight and onto the international calendar, is one of the oldest and most glorious Italian stage races. It was first held in 1907, even before the birth of the Giro d’Italia. The Giro di Sicilia has animated the Italian cycling scene on several occasions, with moments of celebrity in 1974 (Roger De Vlaeminck’s success) and 1977 (Giuseppe Saronni), as well as the victory of American Brandon McNulty in 2019.

Nello Musumeci, President of the Regione Siciliana, said: “With the Giro di Sicilia – a competition that is older than the Giro d’Italia – we put our faith in quality cycling with an effective message to promote our island. We aim, in addition to ‘traditional’ tourism, to attract a tourism sector related to sporting excellence. For this reason – as announced today – we are ready to welcome the return of the Giro d’Italia next year. The will of the regional government is to launch, also through such important events, a strong signal of ‘rebirth’ and hope to the thousands of people who are passionate about this historic and popular sport.”

“The pandemic forced us to take a year’s break in 2020, but the Giro di Sicilia is coming back richer than ever, with great champions and athletes ready to bring life to an exciting race. The Musumeci government – says the Councillor for Sport and Tourism, Manlio Messina – strongly believes in international events such as this one, carried out together with a prestigious partner such as RCS Sport. It is the best way to encourage the practice of sport, to promote the best image of Sicily in Italy and around the world and to put our faith in sports tourism, a market segment on which we intend to focus decisively.”

Paolo Bellino, Managing Director and General Manager of RCS Sport said: “This Giro di Sicilia has a very special and in our opinion perfect location in the international calendar. Thanks to the teamwork with the Regione Siciliana we are bringing back this race to its ancient splendour. This year, champions of the calibre of Vincenzo Nibali, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde, with their own unique palmares, will take their places at the start of the race. Sicily is an extraordinary place and, like its people, it’s rich in its traditions, history and culture. Sicily is the ideal place, in all seasons, for cycling. Images of this great place will be broadcast across 5 continents courtesy of Rai, generating touristic and economic development for the region.”

THE STAGES

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.

THE TEAMS

The Giro di Sicilia Eolo, 28 September – 1 October (20 teams of 7 riders each): 5 UCI WorldTeams, 8 UCI ProTeams and 7 UCI Continental Teams).

  • ISRAEL START – UP NATION
  • MOVISTAR TEAM
  • TEAM DSM
  • TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC
  • BARDIANI CSF FAIZANE’
  • CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
  • EOLO-KOMETA CYCLING TEAM
  • EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI
  • GAZPROM-RUSVELO
  • RALLY CYCLING
  • VINI ZABU’
  • AMORE E VITA
  • D’AMICO UM TOOLS
  • GIOTTI VICTORIA SAVINI DUE
  • MG.K VIS VPM
  • TEAM COLPACK BALLAN
  • WORK SERVICE – MARCHIOL – DYNATEK
  • ZALF EUROMOBIL FIOR

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