From Naples to… Naples? Peculiar but thrilling! The finish might be a stone’s throw from the start, but that takes nothing away from the beauty of a stage that pays homage to one of Italy’s most intense, vivacious cities: Naples, which has enjoyed a long friendship with the Giro d’Italia. Today’s stage kicks off just outside the city centre, from the Mostra d’Oltremare, the venue for EXPO-E, again organized by RCS Sport. It then heads towards Monte di Procida (Italian Capital of Culture 2022) on the Phlegraean Peninsula, before turning back to the centre along a spectator-lined via Francesco Caracciolo. Only a 2-star difficulty rating, but a 5-star explosion of stunning scenery and passion.
The Naples (Mostra d’Oltremare) – Naples (Procida, Italian capital of culture) stage.
A complex, demanding urban stage, 55 kilometres long with a 1,000-metre elevation gain. No stroll in the park. A rough, nerve-shredding rollercoaster. The Procida section is stunning, the climb to the top of the Montestinging. The pros will take on the Phlegraean peninsula loop no less than four times, our e-cyclists just once… which is more than enough. The final four kilometres are pancake-flat, making this one for the sprint finishers, even on the e-road bikes of the Giro-E.
Rider of the day – Alessia Piccolo
Alessia Piccolo is CEO of Alé Cycling, a cycling apparel company that supplies three men’s teams on the World Tour. Until the end of 2021 she was also the only woman to head a World Tour team; then she sold it. “It’s a tough world”, she explains, “investment is crucial, and to keep on growing you always need a bigger budget”.
She sees herself as “an active CEO, someone who’s a ‘strong rider’ when it comes to business too, because I’m convinced you have to lead by example and show what you’re made of. What I love about the bike is that it brings people together. Then there’re the climbs… always a challenge , always gut-wrenching, and yet, always so rewarding. I actually find cycling hard going, I’m not a natural. I didn’t really get into it ‘til I was 40. Before that I was a runner, I did marathons. The climbs kill me, but when I reach the top it feels like such an achievement: the satisfaction is priceless. I think the pleasure of getting to the top is inversely proportional to the level of training: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Style plays its part in cycling: when I ride, I don’t just want to have the proper kit, I want to look both sporty and stylish. And Alé has, indeed, merged sport and style with incredible success, especially in women’s cycling”.
Next update tomorrow, stage 6 of Giro-E, from Orsogna to Blockhaus.
Click here to see the Giro-E rankings.