1,100 rode the legendary Colle delle Finestre in the Marmotte Gran Fondo Sestriere
One of the most scenic, steep and brutally tough climbs in the world, the Colle delle Finestre is an iconic climb used in professional races like the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
The second edition of La Marmotte - Sestriere - Colle delle Finestre, a race for amateurs starting from Cesana Torinese and arriving in Sestriere. With the climb of the legendary Colle delle Finestre it's near constant 10% gradient, it runs out of tarmac after 10kms and riders have to battle the last 8km with gravel as big as your fist - and the gradients to match, 1,694 metres of elevation and a maximum Gradient of 14%.
Italy, July 25th 2016 - Great success for the second edition of the Gran Fondo La Marmotte - Sestriere - Colle delle Finestre. Over a thousand riders arrived from all corner s of Italy, to which were added a hundred cyclists from abroad (France, Belgium, Holland, the most represented nations), registering 1,109 entries, more than double the participants than last year.
This included about sixty daring women who were thrown into the fray. The appeal to retrace the stage of the 2015 Giro d'Italia, won by the Sardinian Climber Fabio Aru, with closed roads and the 8kms of dirt road on the Colle delle Finestre (aka "The Hill of Windows") made a great difference.
Compared to 2015, the departure was also the arrival, placed in the center of Sestiere, to facilitate the organizational and logistical operations required.
Coming from an excellent second place in the Tour of Poland, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) was presented at the start of the race and took part commented afterwards "I rode the race at a fast pace, to exploit it for fine my condition. I chose the long route and then I continued training because I had to ride at least six hours. It was good to get back on the Colle delle Finestre after I faced it last year in the Tour of Italy As for me, I want to thank those who stood by me and never stopped believing in these months. "
Also taking part was coach of the Italian national team going to the Olympics next month in Rio, Davide Cassani, and tank tops Tuscan Lorenzo Charcoal, winner in the career of an Olympic silver in Sydney in 2000, to which He has added a world title and five silvers.
Not shirking the challenge, was General Manager of RCS Sport, Paolo Bellino, who at the end of his ride, commented: "It is always a spectacle to ride on these roads, and in particular on the Colle delle Finestre. It leaves you with a unique experience. There and many hardships to face, both physical and mental in riding the Gran Fondo, but the satisfaction of saying "I was there and I climbed the Hill of Windows" is priceless. I want to thank all the participants, all the sponsors and all institutions involved who have rallied to the success of the event. "
Pleased with the end result, the mayor of Sestriere, Valter Marin: "I never expected that the second edition would double the number of subscribers over the first year. Evidently, the route we had provided both technical and sporting was excellent, this inviting many fans. An event such as the Gran Fondo organized by RCS Sport, the only Western Alps with the streets closed to traffic, is a perfect opportunity to promote a territory that can rival the best in the world for cyclists who love cycling with climbs like the Colle delle Finestre, Mont Cenis, the Colle della Scala and all the climbs that lie just across the border with France."
This was also the opinion from the Councillor for Sports of the Piedmont Region, Giovanni Maria Ferraris, "Our mountains and the Gran Fondo, offer the opportunity for cycling fans to pedal the same beaten path by many champions of yesterday and today. "
The winner of the Gran Fondo was Enrico Zen (Team Beraldo Greenpaper), who crossed the finish line in 3h45'10 ", thus repeating the success of last year. Behind him were placed Daniele Terzi (Stemax Team) in 3h48'28 "and Carlo Muraro (ASD Cycles Copparo Liotto) in 3h50'55".
Foir the women Erica Magnaldi (Team De Rosa Santini) completed the Grahn Fondo in 4h17'46 ", ahead Tanya Randall (4h37'34") of Granbike Velo Club and Valentina Picca (4h43'50 ) of Alpina-Bikecafe.
After the Gran Fondo La Marmotte, participants gathered at the Palace of Sports of Sestriere, where the two-wheeled celebrations continued in the afternoon with a boisterous pasta party, sponsored by Agnesi and made possible by the great efforts of volunteers. Participants ate and drank whilst awaiting the final presentations.