The first stage of the Giro-E 2021 starts on a gentle note: 43.8 kilometres (precision is important) to stretch the legs and test the engines and batteries. Instead of the time trial, the director of the electric Giro, Roberto Salvador, has opted for a hilly route with two bumps with a gentle profile, at least uphill: Revigliasco and, above all, Superga.
The latter is beautiful in the ascent, tough in the descent, steep and technical. At the end, back to Turin entering the racecourse of the professionals, totally flat as befits a pure time trial. Finally, the finish line, and the usual emotion of the electric cyclists who pass for the first time under a sacred place of cycling as the finish line of a stage of his majesty the Giro d’Italia.
This is an overview of the opening stage of the Giro-E 2021, which took place in sunny weather and ended with 800 metres of positive elevation gain. A (light) appetizer of what is to come. To summarise: 21 stages, one of which is a time trial (the last one), a total distance of 1,540 km, an average distance of 73.3 km for each stage, a total positive elevation gain of 25,500 metres (almost three times the height of Mount Everest) (the pros will climb 47,000 metres).
Despite the motors with which the bikes are equipped, the electric cyclists will still have to sweat, especially due to some tough stages, such as number 14 Maniago-Monte Zoncolan, 2,700 metres in elevation gain, and number 16 Canazei-Cortina D’Ampezzo, 2,200 metres in positive elevation gain that include the Passo Giau and the Pordoi, Cima Coppi of the Giro 2021. There will be six stages with more than 2,000 metres of positive elevation gain. Everything perfect to turn into a real grimpeur.
The start, or rather, the Grand Departure, has not been chosen randomly: Turin, first capital of the Kingdom, from 1861 to 1864, celebrates the ancient splendour of the past.
It will be one of the many tributes of the Giro d’Italia, and the Giro-E, which we will see in this 2021 edition, the 104th of the Pink Race and the third of the electric Giro.
The character of the day is not famous: he is a Trenitalia train driver, formerly Ferrovie dello Stato or FFSS. The Trenitalia team is made up of employees of the company, except for the captain, Andrea Ferrigato, a former professional (1991-2005) with a second place in the 1996 World Cup behind none other than Johan Museeuw. His task is to tutor his ‘seconds’. “There’s little tutoring to do, they’re very well trained,” says Ferrigato.
“In the world of cycling there has always been envy towards railwaymen because they work half days and have plenty of time to ride. In fact, the winners of the races were always either nurses or railwaymen. Finding a group like this is nice and fun, because they have time to train, and they are strong”.
Such is, in fact, the character of the day: Massimo Siclari, 60 years old, train driver, Chivasso depot. “I drive the train but I’m a cyclist,’ he says. “For me, the bike is like a second wife: I cycle 10,000 kilometres a year”. What joy the lady must have felt when he told her he was going out again this Saturday to come to the Giro.
Ferrigato, who says of himself as a cyclist “I was a half sprinter”, was the first to arrive under the finishing arch today. As punctual as a Frecciarossa.
Orange Jersey – Leader General Classification – Trenitalia
Purple Jersey – Sprint Classification Leader – Trenitalia
Green Jersey-Ride Green Leader Special Stage Classification – Randstad eCycling
Red Jersey – Leader Regularity Classification – ENIT Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo
White Jersey – Leader Youth Classification – Toyota
Yellow Jersey – Leader Master Classification – RCS Sport