The Giro d'Italia edition number 106 arrives in Tortona, and the whole province wears pink. And it is the province of Alessandria, one of the few able to concentrate the whole history of cycling in a few kilometers. From Cuniolo to Gerbi, from Girardengo to Coppi: where everything, between passion, adventure, competitive spirit and associationism began. That sporting and social spirit, can still be felt in the hills of Alessandria, Tortona and Novese. On the Hills where champions and domestiques have trained for decades, where still today, in various capacities, women and men pedal giving to the cycling nature of the places and to themselves above all emotion.
The museo ACdB (Alessandria Città delle Biciclette) could not miss this extraordinary event and, thanks to the hospitality of the Municipality of Tortona, will be present at the May 17 arrival with its own space housed in the premises of the municipal administration, at the Passalacqua Barracks, at the historic address in Corso Alessandria.
The stage with arrival in Tortona is the 11th, the Camaiore - Tortona, and it is also the longest in this edition of the Corsa Rosa. 219 kilometers: a flat first part to the La Spezia area where it enters the Ligurian Apennines, which it passes through the Bracco Pass and the Colla di Boasi. You travel along mostly narrow roads with continual ups and downs and numerous curves. You then cross the valley and with the Castagnola Pass enter the Alessandria plain. The final 30 km on wide, straight roads with the usual presence of traffic circles and other traffic obstacles. Last kilometers: always straight roads interspersed with some traffic circles. Last bend (again on traffic circle) about 500 m from the finish, followed by the final 450 m asphalt straight of 8 m width.
It is safe to imagine a masterful sprint this time as well, six years after Fernando Gaviria, just 22 years old, scored his pink poker in the Reggio Emilia-Tortona on that same finish line. The Colombian that year "did a number" as they say in the jargon: a gap between the barriers and the right nastiness to set Bennett and Stuyven.
Interrogating the (fascinating) history book of the ultracentennial Giro d'Italia, we discover that this is the third time the Giro has stopped in Tortona. And those wonderful 1980s return: those of Moser, Visentini, Saronni, Hampstean, to name a few. And 1989, the year of Parisian Laurent Fignon, 72nd edition, the 198 km Meda-Tortona was the prerogative of Danish Jesper Skibby.
Prehistory, history, current events and even geography of the Pink Race and the champions: in Tortona, as in Alessandria "City of Bicycles," as in Novi Ligure (Museo dei Campionissimi), as in Castellania Coppi (Museum en plein air), there has always been this special air, renewed by the passage of the race, of bicycles.
A history that is also retraced at the arrival of the stage city of the Giro 2023, in Tortona precisely, with an excerpt from the Museo ACdB exhibition in Alessandria, set up in the exhibition curated by Fausto Galli "Wheels and champions of our territory in Tortona's collections" (in Corso Alessandria 62), until May 21, 2023, in an exhibition that also includes memorabilia made available by Museo dei Campionissimi di Novi Ligure .
Thus, this fantastic triangle of Cycling Museums celebrates and looks forward to the 2023 Pink Race. Roberto Livraghi, director of Museo ACDB, a project that pedals in and out Palazzo Monferrato in Alexandria, explains:
"The president of the Alexandria-Asti Chamber of Commerce, Gian Paolo Coscia, has been included in the stage committee. We believe this is a recognition of the action that Museo ACDB has taken in recent years. After all, nowhere near or far is there a handkerchief of land capable of hosting three cycling museums all together, custodians of memories and memorabilia that the passion for cycling continues to make pedal, spreading a word, exciting, that is an international language, made of values and lightness together, which will also lead us toward a new goal, this time tinged with yellow, that of the Tour de France 2024, dedicated to our Champion Fausto Coppi. Another success for this shy passionate land of cycling that will become ... as big as the Grand Boucle of the Tour and will do so for several days.We are already gearing up."