With the Hamilton World Championships over, and Spain still celebrating Igor Astarloa’s success, it’s time for professional cycling to get back to European roads. Better, to Italian Roads: the “Trittico d’Autunno” (“Autumn Trilogy”), to start on Wednesday, October 15, is going to seal the 2003 pro cycling season in this part of the planet.
The first of these three races (all of which organized by “Rcs Sport-La Gazzetta dello Sport”), is Milano-Torino, set to run on Wednesday, with Giro del Piemonte to follow on Thursday, and Saturday’s traditional World Cup race Giro di Lombardia to put a end to the “Trittico”.
Wednesday’s Milan-Turin will be covering 199 km. over the “traditional” route going from Novate Milanese (a town in the outskirts of Milan) to the “Fausto Coppi” track in Piedmont’s main city. As usual, the Route is predominantly flat, but the last part features the gruelling Colle di Superga climb, that peaks 16 km. from the finish.
Riders will be back in the saddle twenty-four hours later, just in time for the 90th edition of “Giro del Piemonte”. This year’s race is spanning over 197 km., with the start line in Acqui Terme and the finish in Valenza Po, a town also known as the capital city of Italian jewelry Both places are located in the Alessandria province of Eastern Piedmont, although the race will enter also the Asti province territory. The Parcours is selective, with flat pieces only in the last 50 kilometres.
And on Saturday, October 18, the “BIG” race will come: the Tour of Lombardy! Recently crowned World Champion Igor Astarloa (now racing for Saeco, although he’ll move to Cofidis at the end of the season) will show his flamboyant Rainbow Jersey for the first time in Como, where the World cup’s last leg is set to start. The finishing line is in Bergamo, the “promised land” riders will reach after covering a 249-km. route, encompassing the Madonna del Ghisallo, Colle del Gallo, Selvino and Berbenno climbs. And Largo Colle Aperto, the final ascent inside the upper part of Bergamo, with just 4k to the line, located at Piazza Matteotti (Matteotti Square).
The following Teams are set to compete in both “Milan-Turin” and “Tour of Piedmont”.
* Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
* Alessio (Ita)
* CCC-Polsat (Pol)
* Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo (Ita)
* Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone (Fra)
* De Nardi-Colpack (Ita)
* Domina Vacanze-Elitron (Ita)
* Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé-Ciarrocchi Immobiliare (Ita)
* Gerolsteiner (Ger)
* Ibanesto.Com (Spa)
* Kelme-Costa Blanca (Spa)
* Lampre (Ita)
* Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (Bel)
* Mercatone Uno-Scanavino (Ita)
* ONCE-Eroski (Spa)
* Phonak Hearing Systems (Swi)
* Rabobank (Hol)
* Saeco Macchine Per Caffé (Ita)
* Team Bianchi (Ger)
* Team CSC (Den)
* Team Telekom (Ger)
* Tenax (Ita)
* Vini Caldirola-Saunier Duval (Ita)
The same 23 squads, plus two further additions:
* Quick Step Davitamon (Bel)
* Lotto-Domo (Bel)
Are set to take part in next Saturday’s Tour of Lombardy. Quick Step-Davitamon is also the teamItaly’s Paolo Bettini, winner of the World Cup Title (for the second straight year) without the need to wait for the last race, as he’s leading Belgian Peter van Petegem (Lotto-Domo) by more than 100 points (the score awarded to any World Cup leg Winner) in the Overall Standings: 365 points for “Il Grillo”, 219 for “PVP”.
The “Daily Peloton” will be covering all three races with Reports, Results, Comments, Interviews and more.