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Stage 2

San Francesco al Campo > Santuario di Oropa (Biella)

The Velodromo

Cycling is everywhere in San Francesco al Campo, the small town 20 kilometres from Turin where the Velodromo Francone has been in operation since 1996. A true reference point for pistards in the North-West as well as a federal training centre. One visits it as if on pilgrimage, with thoughts going back to the many athletes who, in almost 30 years, have built their dreams here. Then we set off towards the Canavese area, rich in sights, both historical and gastronomic.

In Rivarolo Canavese one can admire the Malgrà Castle, which towers over and protects the village from as far back as 1333, while in Caluso visitors can immerse themselves in the vineyards of the prized Erbaluce di Caluso DOC and an equally renowned Passito. Wines that can also be appreciated by stopping at the Enoteca Regionale dei Vini della Provincia di Torino, located in Caluso.

The journey

The long, but quick, journey through the rice fields of the Vercelli area leads to the province of Biella. A land that for centuries has been devoted to the textile industry of the highest quality, but which reserves countless opportunities for an interesting break. Another sumptuous 14th-century manor house can be admired in Valdengo, but just five kilometres from the race route is enough to enter the fairy-tale little world of Ricetto di Candelo, a splendidly preserved medieval village whose paved lanes are truly exciting to walk through.

Once past Crocemosso, the peloton reaches the first KOM of the day and enters the heart of the textile industrial district, with the possibility of also observing numerous examples of industrial archaeology converted into museums and spaces for public use.

Here the riders enter the territory of Oasi Zegna, an environmental jewel that in these weeks is beginning to show its most beautiful face, particularly in the clamorous Conca dei rhododendri (Rhododendron Basin), barely touched by the race route and deserving of a brief detour.


Biella welcomes visitors with its collection of historical monuments (the Cathedral of Santo Stefano, the Baptistery), post-industrial spaces (reborn to a new life under the sign of contemporary art (the Città dell'Arte-Fondazione Pistoletto) and the picturesque medieval district of Piazzo, located in an elevated position above the city and also accessible by funicular railway. Relax here before the final leap to the finish line next to the Sanctuary of Oropa. We climb with the epic 1999 comeback of Marco Pantani still in our eyes. In the green behind the Sanctuary stretches the Sacro Monte, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its high artistic value and to be appreciated, without haste, after the arrival of the riders.

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