Over 9,000 riders from around the world celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Grandfather of Granfondo's the Nove Colli
Amateurs celebrated the return of global cycling and international travel as the pandemic finally subsides
Exceptional attendance with its dawn departure greeted by a large crowd of people and the usual magical atmosphere, then a day of celebration for the whole city
The fiftieth edition of the Nove Colli ended in its unusual slot of September, but with super success: excellent participation of riders, extraordinary roadside support at the start and along the course.
At the 7 o'clock start, 9013 riders showed up, a result beyond all expectations given the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Nove Colli was one of the events with the most participants ever in these months: a great result for Fausto Coppi, for all its volunteers, and for the city of Cesenatico.
The dream team has completed its mission: Marco Marcato, Luca Paolini, Matteo Montaguti, Paolo Bettini, Ivan Basso, Christian Zorzi, Claudio Saligari and Mario Cipollini closed the 130 km route under the 4-hour mark: Sportful and Nove Colli, as promised, doubled their donation reaching €20,000.00 to help and support the activity at the Romagnolo Cancer Institute at the Pediatric Hematology Department of Rimini.
The podium and the winners
130km - female: Michela Bergozza 3:57:16, Lisa De Cesare, Cinzia Maraldi;
130km - men: Andrea Pisetta 3:30:04, Christian Dallago, Riccardo Zanrossi;
200km - women: Sonia Passutti 06:52:00, Christina Rausch, Debora Morri;
200km - men: Luca Chiesa 05:55:35, Fabio Cini, Stefano Bonanomi
Luca Chiesa won the 205km course. "Winning the Nove Colli, the undisputed queen of the Granfondos, is big and is the crowning achievement of one of the dreams in my life," he said. "I struggled to hold back the tears, the atmosphere on the course was incredible, something magical".
Sonia Passutti, so exhausted, sat and awaited the award ceremony, saying, "It was hard, a huge amount of work but rewarded by this satisfaction. I had already participated twice: third place, second place and then finally this year, I managed to win".
Andrea Pisetta, winner of the 130km route, was the first rider to cross the finish line of the fiftieth edition of the Nove Colli. "In 2018, I had a puncture, in 2019, I crashed and finally this year, I managed to win. It was hard but we kept a very high pace from the beginning and I was excited to cross the finish line with all the fans cheering me on".
Michela Bergozza was the first woman to finish the “short” route. "I started with the idea of ??going long but I was afraid of cramps and so I decided to cut it and try to do well in the shorter event. My teammates were with me, let's say my wingmen, who helped me and kept me company. Without them, I would never have made it".
At 7pm o'clock on Sunday evening Alessandro Borgonovo from Bollate was last to cross the finish line in Viale Carducci
1200 volunteers ran the entire organizational machine supported by the experience of Fausto Coppi who this year managed to welcome 9,013 starters. The riders who crossed the finish line were 8,076 of which 2,756 tackled the long route while 5,320 were “satisfied” with the 130km version of the Nove Colli. On the other hand, 440 are disqualified (between route-cuts and voluntary pollution outside green areas). Almost 500 instead of those who did not complete the test for various reasons.
There were 12 traffic police vehicles used as an escort with 49 motorcycles serving the race. 34 dedicated to the escort service helping the Police plus another 15 used for various services such as transport, jury, radio race, television images and service for photographers. In addition to the central health service to coordinate the operations there were 18 ambulances on the route plus 5 ready for transport, 13 scooters with nurse drivers on board and 12 doctors ready to intervene. There were 110 interventions by the Red Cross.
The words of Andrea Agostini, President Fausto Coppi "It is my first Nove Colli as president and it was a great emotion: for the many volunteers who worked day and night, for the cyclists who trusted us in an unexpected way and number and for Cesenatico and Romagna which are the perfect setting for this race that is our dream. When I see and think of the nine hills we face, I don't just see a bicycle Sunday but I see a company and an entire movement. Fausto Coppi is a company that is active all year round and has a youth sector that it looks after and that it would like to expand even more in recent years by trying to intensify its activity. The Nove Colli is our Sunday of celebration but we build it throughout the year and throughout the year we take the driving force for the children and young people who wear our uniform ".