The Granfondo patrol ready for the road: the “Gimondi” like no other
The 22nd edition of the famed Granfondo to be held next May 6th and featuring “Remembering the Vuelta” headline was presented in Bergamo: impressive number of service people to guarantee maximum safety
Spain’s National colors characterizd the 22nd Granfondo Internazionale Felice Gimondi Bianchi’ official presentation, today at the Credito Bergamasco’s headquarter, waiting for the d-day, next May 6th, 2018 in Bergamo. “Remembering the Vuelta” is the headline the GM Sport’s organizers chose to celebrate Gimondi’s feats at the 1968 Vuelta a Espana, where the Italian took the leader’s jersey by finishing with a runner-up placement in the stage 14th, from Santander to Vitoria, and held it until the final day in Bilbao. “This anniversary is important in itself, because it’s been 50 years since. However, besides the occasion, the extent of Gimondi’s feat deserves to be celebrated” organizer Giuseppe Manenti explains.
A FEAT TO BE CELEBRATED
Dedicating the 22nd Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi to Felice Gimondi’s overall win at Vuelta a España, exactly 50 years later, is a due act towards the legend of an inimitable champion and the history of cycling itself. Gimondi’s roll of honor could make this Grand Tour success less impressive that it is, if not for two important reasons.
The first one: by winning the Vuelta, Gimondi entered the elite “triple crown” club, including the few riders able to win all the Grand Tours in their career, starting from Jacques Anquetil until Vincenzo Nibali (up to now). The second point: the champion from Sedrina managed to complete this “grand slam” when he was still very young, 25 years and a half, earlier than Merckx himself. Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador did the same long after, both at the same age of Felice, but it was an all different cycling.
A RACE WITH NO COMPROMISES
The organizers dedicated to the 1968 Vuelta the second series of art installations, after those realized on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Gimondi’s Tour de France win. They are obviously different, being built on a yellow and red plate box, with changing angles based on the stage altimetries. Felice Gimondi from Sedrina, 75 years, looked rightfully proud: “The Granfondo brings my name, and mirrors my essence, it is meant to give an outstanding experience to those participating, cured in every detail. This is what makes the difference, on a bike and in everyday life”.
“Wonderful” is what everyone says about the GF Gimondi Bianchi: certainly the 32 “puntuali”, boasting the honor of having ridden and finished all the editions, as well as those who tackled it once, bringing in their eyes the breath-taking landscapes and in their legs the pain of the sour effort. From the 89,4 km short route including the Colle del Gallo and the Selvino climbs to the 128,8 km medium course, up to the 162,1 km long route with the Forcella di Brebenno and Costa Valle Imagna ascents, all the options require so much work.
THE SAFETY PATROL: 837 OFFICERS ON THE COURSE
The “Gimondi” is actually the best choice for those who love to ride safe. Thanks to 120 further additional signalling officers, back from a training course sponsored by the GF Gimondi Bianchi’s OC, the Bergamo’s race lines up a real “patrol” – 837 people – to ensure the safety of the 4.000 riders awaited at the start. Participants can register for the Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi’s 22nd edition until April 13th, by filling out the dedicated online form on the official website www.felicegimondi.it, or at the G.M. Sport Office in Via G. Da Campione, 24/c – 24124 Bergamo (tel. +39 035.211721 – fax + 39 035.4227971
THE LONG-TIME PARTNERS
As usual, the event will be supported by historicals partners like Bianchi (title sponsor), Banco BPM (former Credito Bergamasco, official sponsor), Dompè Friliver Sport (official partner) and L’Eco di Bergamo (media partner) have ridden by the Granfondo’s side since the event’s premier, as well as Santini Maglificio Sportivo and Sitip (official supporters). The Hotel Cappello d’Oro Best Western (official hotel) has supported the Granfondo for 13 editions, one more than Volksvagen Bonaldi Motori (official cars), Bianchi Industry and Vittoria, official supporters.
“Younger” but strong is the Granfondo’s bond with official supporters Nuncas and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and with suppliers Acqua San Benedetto, Safety and Berlucchi Franciacorta (official wine). Official partners GLS Corriere Espresso and Uniacqua Servizio Idrico Integrato also stand out as novelties.
QUOTES Roberto Perico (Credito Bergamasco-Banco BPM Manager)
Banco BPM has renewed and strengthened the relationships with Granfondo Felice Gimondi Bianchi for over 20 years, due both to our appreciation for the commitment and quality of the organization and the deep bond with our territory. Additionally, the Granfondo is an important occasion to remember our friend Eugenio Mercorio, in the name of his biggest passion: cycling.
Paolo Franco (Councillor of Lombardy Region and UniAcque’s President)
Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi represents the positive example of a top-class event, giving our territory an international showcase, while focusing on a key value like the respect for the environment. That’s why UniAcque is even prouder to be involved in this important initiative, spreading the message on water recovery and environmental awareness.
Loredana Poli (Bergamo City’s Sports Assessor)
Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi is a key element of our touring promotion strategy through quality events with international audience. We are grateful to the the GM Sport organizers for the chance of working together for the promotion and for focusing on important details like the safety and the staff training, often far from common and not only in local events.
Michele Gamba (Italian Cycling Federation’s Vice President)
As always, we can state the organization of the Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi is an excellence on a National scale, an ideal “vademecum” for the management of an international event. As a representative of the Italian Cycling Federation, I wish to thank GM Sport for its training course for signalling officers, a significant contribution to the sport activity of the whole regional territory.
Claudio Masnata (Marketing and Communication Manager Bianchi)
Every year the historical and well-established bond between Bianchi and the Granfondo Gimondi is enriched by further points of interests and internationality. Also this year Bianchi will involve in the event about 200 partners from all over the World: Australia, Japan, Korea, South Africa and all European Countries, to share a wonderful and well organized sports experience. Moreover, the Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi will be the occasion for the early introduction and the first pubblic appearance of Oltre XR3 Disc, the new bike recently launched by Bianchi.