The Giro-E has reached the halfway point! We’re now on stage 10 out of 18. Some of the cyclists are already looking a bit nostalgic, as they come to realise that, on 29 May, all this is coming to an end. But have no fear: for those with severe Giro-E withdrawal systems, the organizers have already called in a team of expert psychologists who specialise in cycling addictions.
The Mondovì – Cuneo stage
The greatness of the Giro lies in its beauty: everything changes unceasingly: the landscape, the culture, the roads, the gradients, the splendour. Today we’re in Langa, which says everything.
The 10th stage of the Giro-E starts out from Mondovì, the hometown of Italian statesman Giovanni Giolitti (born here in 1842).
What’s more, Mondovì, set in the gorgeous Monregalese hills, is the Italian capital of hot air ballooning and its extensive network of trails make it a Mecca for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders. And if you’re heading there in an electric car, no worries: since 2021 there’s been an EV charging point (it’s just behind the town hall). And did we mention the wines? Dolcetto, Arneis and Nebbiolo, plus, of course, the Rakikò, a local liqueur that has been a popular aperitif and after-dinner drink of the local people since the early 20th century. And don’t forget the food: the Mela della Garzegna (a delicious locally grown apple), the Rubatà (breadsticks made in the bakeries that lie just a stone’s throw from the Bressani tower) and the boiled meats of nearby Carrù, which have risen to international fame.
Today’s stage finishes in Cuneo, after 44 kilometres of gentle, rolling hills, which will give the cyclists’ legs some respite and let their eyes soak up the stunning views.
(Non-)rider of the day – Bruno Tardivo
He doesn’t so much pedal as get others pedalling.
This is Bruno’s ‘home’ stage, as his company is based in Cuneo. Bruno Tardivo is the soul of CBT, a crafter of racing bicycles since 1950. It now builds sleek e-bikes and e-roads, like those used in the Giro-E by the Free to X team captained by that giant of a man (and not just in cycling terms), Andrea Tafi.
“The Giro-E really puts our products through their paces,” says Tardivo. “Using the bikes in gruelling competitions like these can bring out defects that, despite extensive lab and road testing, will only be highlighted by extensive racing. For example, the Blockhaus climb was fascinating. Even though some of the cyclists were not pros and were well off the pace of our captain, Andrea Tafi, no-one completely ran out of juice. With these bikes it’s crucial to combine good battery capacity with reasonable weight. Today, traditional racing bikes need to weigh under eight kilos, yet there’s no way of designing a pedal assisted bike that doesn’t weigh just under double that. Ours weighs 12.6 kilos without the pedals, a perfect ‘fighting weight’ for an e-road bike. Our battery is removable, meaning it can also be charged off the bike. It has an effective wattage of 430 Wh, which is optimal. You could say the battery is the bike’s ‘fuel tank’: the bigger it is, the more energy you can tap into. We designed it, we assemble it and we’re sure-as-heck proud of it. In terms of the frame, we don’t have a ‘flagship’ model, but a single platform that, depending on specific production requirements, can be used to build city or racing bikes: a concept we’ve borrowed from the automotive world”.
Next update tomorrow, stage 11 of Giro-E, from Turin and back to Turin
Click here to see the Giro-E rankings.