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GRAN FONDO LA MARMOTTE – SESTRIERE – COLLE DELLE FINESTRE

SECOND EDITION ON 24 JULY
Event details announced today. Start and finish in Sestriere.
Astana’s local pro rider Diego Rosa unveils all the route secrets, focusing on Colle delle Finestre.
Registrations still open on www.gfsestriere.it

Gran Fondo La Marmotte
Photo©ANSA

Turin, 29 June 2016 – The iconic gravel roads of the Colle delle Finestre and the finish line at Sestriere, scene of epic gestures by generations of pro riders, are two of the features that define the story of the Gran Fondo La Marmotte – Sestriere – Colle delle Finestre. The sportive ride organised by RCS Sport / RCS Active Team, now in its second edition, will be held on Sunday 24 July.

The event, announced today in Turin, will start and finish from Sestriere. Participants may chose among two routes: the 117.7km Gran Fondo and the 93km Medio Fondo. On the shorter route, after the descend from Sestriere to Susa riders face the Colle delle Finestre climb (18.5km with the final 7.8km on gravel road) and, after the descent toward Pourrieres, another climb to Sestriere, for a total of 93km and 2,400m of total elevation. If riders decide to face the Gran Fondo challenge, once arrived in Sestriere they could opt to proceed and descend towards Cesana Torinese, climbing back to Sestriere from there for a total of 117.7km with a total elevation of 3,100m. The gravel road on Colle delle Finestre will be prepared with the same level of attention as a Giro d’Italia stage.

Diego Rosa, Astana Pro Team professional rider from the area, told us some of the secrets of the event:

“The Colle delle Finestre climb is very long, we faced it on the penultimate stage of last year’s Giro d’Italia. It’s a wonderful climb; all the specialist climbers in the peloton such as me loved it, and it’s very peculiar: there are many hairpins in the woods in the first part, which is very hard, that needs to be paced properly before facing the gravel part. From there onwards it’s even harder, it’s a very long climb that becomes more and more challenging. Once the gravel road ends you’re at the top, and from there maximum attention is required on the very technical descent. Here, a good technique can enable you to recoup time and recover simultaneously. Once at the bottom you can then put all your energy back into the climb back to Sestriere.”

Gran Fondo La Marmotte
Photo©ANSA

Giovanni Maria Ferraris, Regione Piemonte’s Head of Sport, highlighted the importance of this event for the local area:

“The combination of sport and tourism is fundamental to showcasing this area; it helps people to know the region better not only for its stunning natural beauty but for its challenging nature in sport. This is another step for the future of our mountains, that this year showed the World the fantastic effort of Nibali at the Giro d’Italia. These mountains are for everybody, from the top pros to all the sportive riders and the cycle tourists.”

Sestriere’s vice-Mayor and Head of Sport and Tourism, Giovanni Poncet, presents the second edition of the Gran Fondo during his council:

“This is an event that will grow in time, the number of starters has already grown steadily from last year. We have invested heavily in road cycling and La Marmotte is not only beneficial to Sestriere but to all the valleys touched by it. All the peculiarities of this Gran Fondo will make it bigger each year and I’m sure it will become a reference point in the discipline, in the same way as the Tour dell’Assietta has in MTB.”

Paolo Bellino, RCS Sport Managing Director, said:

“RCS Sport strongly believe in the Gran Fondo project and the importance of each race in the area it belongs. The one in Sestriere will be the third Gran Fondo organised by us in 2016 after the Strade Bianche and the Giro d’Italia, each one of those with different features. On 24 July it’s going to be a unique experience, the four Piedmont stages of the Giro this year decided the race on these special mountains and this area will be more and more a reference points for cyclists of all level of expertise, from pros to sportive riders.”

Gran Fondo La Marmotte
Photo©ANSA

Registrations to the Gran Fondo La Marmotte – Sestriere – Colle delle Finestre are still open via fax, by downloading the form from www.gfsestriere.it and sending it alongside copy of the payment, or online on www.sdam.it. Registrations will be open until midnight on 17 July. It will also be possible to register last minute on location the day before the event. It’s possible to participate for charity too: the Pettorale Solidale (solidarity bib) is for to anyone who wants to raise funds for the race Charity Program. Here, you can find the list of charities and decide which one to represent.

Bibs, time chip and race bag will be available to collect at the Palazzetto dello Sport in Via Azzurri d’Italia, Sestriere, from 10:00 to 19:00 the day before the event. The Palazzetto dello Sport is located 300m from the start and finish line and will host the pasta party and all the prize ceremonies at the end of the event. Showers and changing rooms will also be located in the Palazzetto.

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