Yesterday’s exciting and very long stage that from Finale di Pollina brought cyclists and and their family on Etna, up to 1800 meters of Piano Provenzana.
164 km and about 3800 meters of elevation gain, a really long and tiring stage, but which left an unforgettable mark in the minds of the participants, all enthusiastic at the end for the accomplished enterprise and for the breathtaking landscapes crossed.
After a long coastal stretch the cyclists started to climb towards San Fratello, where a rich and very welcome refreshment was offered by the municipal administration. From there the ascent continued for several kilometers, long the tree-lined and long climb towards Portella Femmina Morta, faced by the Giro d’Italia in 2017. At the brow you begin to descend along the panoramic descent towards Cesarò, where another refreshment point is offered from the Municipality awaits cyclists.
After coffee, squeezing of real Sicilian oranges and some sweets, we start by crossing a panoramic valley with Etna in the background. Before the climb a brief stop at the Planeta Winery to recharge the batteries in view of the timed section. We then set off towards Etna to tackle the 15 km climb called Mareneve.
Here the riders face the long climb to the full with the few remaining forces after having already covered 148 km. The challenge is among Swiss, Sicilians, Dutch and Swedes. Salvatore Busacca is confirmed first with an excellent 52’02”, followed by Filippo Alfonso and Claudius Thommen. He also fights among women with Ilse Pfeifer (1h12’05”) which prevails over Maria Badalmenti and Stefania Cogo.
Once all the participants have arrived at the top, the transfer to the parties offered by the Planeta Cellars begins, with tasting of wines, cheeses and cold cuts and of course lots of pasta. The participants in the Short Tour are also awarded to the cellars.
Among men victory of Claudius Thommen, followed by Lorenzo Vaccaro and Gesualdo Scozzarella. Among women victory of Maria Badalmenti.
Today is a day of rest. It resumes tomorrow with the third stage that will arrive up to the Castle of Caccamo.