One of the most legendary stages of the Giro d’Italia took place in 1956 on the slopes of Monte Bondone. Charly Gaul took on, and conquered, fearsome climbs and horrendous temperatures dropping to -10°C. It is in this same setting of the Dolomites, although at much more pleasant temperatures, that the Final of the 2013 UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) will be held from 19-22 September. The event was formerly known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships. The Final promises to be exceptional, as demonstrated by the test event held last week – La Leggendaria Charly Gaul.
Over 2,000 amateur riders took part in the event which offered the double benefit of offering a reconnaissance of the Final as well as itself being part of the UWCT calendar (acting as a qualifying round for the Final). Among the cycling fanatics taking part, some 200 competed in the individual time trial on the Friday, with 1,800 setting out from Trento on Sunday for the journey to Monte Bondone.
The participants could feel themselves travelling in the shadow of the legendary Charly Gaul while enjoying the beautiful region of lakes, vineyards and mountains. The organisation of the event, now in its eighth year, was second to none. Much work has been done to promote the event. In pride of place was a special broadcast by public TV channel RAI 2 from the finish line, with interviews and live reporting.
“As the UCI Cycling for All Coordinator and having completed the event on my bike, I can say that La Leggendaria Charly Gaul is an exceptional event,” observed Andrea Marcellini. “The atmosphere was magnificent and the facilities for the riders and safety arrangements were quite remarkable. The organising committee wants to promote the region through this event and has done an excellent job in getting extensive coverage. They set up a working group of former professional riders from the area to reinforce the sporting and technical aspects of the event and were open to suggestions from the UCI.”
La Leggendaria Charly Gaul experienced a 50% increase in the number of participants when it was accepted on the UWCT calendar in 2012 and a further 40% this year. Riders from abroad have obviously been attracted by the formula as they made up 55% of the competitors in the time trial, representing 32 different countries.
“After this test event, we have every reason to believe that the 2013 UWCT Final will be magnificent in all respects,” asserted Marcellini.
The Final is open to all amateur riders who have qualified through a round of the UWCT. There are still three opportunities for enthusiasts to gain a precious invitation to the Final with the opportunity to win a rainbow jersey: the Gran Fondo Sri Lanka (24-25 August), the Copa 100k in Brazil (1 September) and the Val d’Aran Cycling Tour in Spain (7 September).