If the success of an event, even more so if it is a sporting one, can be measured by the faces of the participants but also of the organisers, the two expressions and emotions that were mainly chasing each other and alternating on their faces at the end of the day dedicated to LaMITICA Ciclostorica staged on Sunday 24 June in Castellania and the Colli di Coppi, were happiness and tiredness.

The happiness of all the 200 participants, coming from many parts ofItaly, England, Holland, Spain, France and the United States, for taking part in the Ciclostorica dedicated to Fausto Coppi which, by paying homage to the Campionissimo, as well as to all the great cyclists who have lived in these lands, offers the opportunity to immerse themselves, literally body and soul, in the Colli di Coppi area, where the bicycle is the ideal means of discovery.

Happiness at having completed one of the three, or rather four, routes on offer, regardless of whether the kilometres covered were 53, 70, 88 or even 98. Without any competitive goal of arriving before an opponent and where, sometimes, the only real battle is against dust, sweat and fatigue or worse against bad luck, the most insidious of insides that without warning targets the unfortunate with chain jumps, punctures, slips or mechanical failures.

Happiness for having succeeded, perhaps after having tried in other previous editions of LaMITICA to cover, without putting the foot on the ground, the bad stretch of the Rampina or rather the now legendary dirt road that all the routes must face to climb to Passo Coppi and then to the finish line of Castellania. Happiness, seasoned with even more fatigue, for the 47 cyclists who have completed the route. Hors CatégorieA new entry in the 2018 edition and included in collaboration with the municipality of Sant'Agata Fossili where the GPM was located, for having obtained as a prize the precious silver ingot dedicated to Costante Girardengo and Andrea Sandrino Carrea. Among those who have completed the difficult route Hors Catégorie is right to report the Parma Maurizio Caggiati, born in 1943, who was awarded not only with the silver ingot but also with a magnum bottle, offered by the Cantine Volpi of Tortona, for having pedaled on a bicycle of the early '900 naturally without gearbox.

They were delighted to have ridden their vintage bicycles alongside two special guests, Luciano Armani and Emilio Casalini, both from Parma, former cyclists who in the 1960s and 1970s experienced first-hand, and with some success, the great cycling of the time, where some of the leading names were Gimondi, Adorni and Merckx, whom Armani beat in a sprint at the end of a stage of the 1971 Tour de France.

The perfect day for temperature, sunshine and colours of the landscape found its right accompaniment in the refreshments of Volpedo in Piazza Quarto Stato, thanks to the Municipality of Volpedo, the Pellizza da Volpedo Association and the Volpedo Frutta Cooperative; at the stop in Tortona, in Piazza Malaspina thanks to the collaboration with the Municipality of Tortona and the festive welcome created by Bellezze in Bicicletta/Tortona Retrò where the pretext for the refreshment of the cyclists was transformed, as has become tradition, into a real vintage party. And again, for the Long and Hors Catégorie routes, in the very welcome refreshment at the Museo dei Campionissimi di Novi Ligure and again in the tasty and free-range one at the top of the GPM of Sant'Agata Fossili thanks to the Municipality and Pro Loco of Sant'Agata. At the end, after the arrival Agnolotto party for all participants accompanied by live acoustic music by the band Cranchi, with Massimiliano Cranchi on voice and guitar who, after completing LaMITICA has cheered the final refreshment of all cyclists.

Rich awards starting with the prizes awarded by the Giro d'Italia d'Epoca and delivered directly by the president Michela Moretti Girardengo (great-granddaughter of Costante Girardengo) to the cyclists who have distinguished themselves in the various stages of the circuit of which LaMITICA is the seventh stage. To continue with the delivery of the Brevetti dei Campionissimi-Ciclostoriche del Nord Ovest to the 19 patented cyclists who in 2017 participated in the 5 Ciclostoriche between Piedmont and Liguria.

The awards ceremony for LaMITICA kicked off with the presentation of the Hors Catégorie prize, dedicated to Girardengo and Carrea, to the 47 cyclists who passed through the GPM presented by the Mayor of Sant'Agata Fossili, Diego Camatti and the Deputy Mayor, Alberto Bassani. Prizes were awarded, with a FESTINA watch offered by Festina Italia, to the youngest female participant, Simoes Marie Francoise from London and present at LaMITICA with the group of Cicli Artigianali Club of London, which also includes Robert Johnson, awarded as the first participant; the oldest female participant Patrizia Catastini from Livorno; the youngest participant Stefano Cassiani from Rho; the oldest participant Angelo Cogliati from Lainate (class of 1938!) and the participant coming from the farthest away Steven Fellini from Washington DC (USA). A special prize was awarded to the largest group, wearing the white and blue SIOF jersey, which received the Trentasecondi Trophy, in memory of our unforgettable friend Mario Zadra, made and offered by the Saldema company of Carbonara Scrivia, as well as a selection of wines from the Volpi Tortona winery. Ambrogio Cottino and Paolo Tosi were awarded two pairs of tubulars, offered by Ciclomania-Voghera, for being the inseparable seen in all the historical cycle events. Massimo Viola from Casei Gerola was awarded the official climber's jersey of the Giro d'Italia, offered by Mediolanum, for being the first to pass the GPM Hors Catégorie. The patrol of Bike Patrol, the Municipal Police on bicycle, of Alessandria present in Castellania with their equipped bicycles was also honoured.

We said at the beginning happiness and tiredness on the faces of the participants but also on the faces of the organisers, tiredness rewarded however by the numerous thanks received from all the participants for having succeeded also for this VII edition of LaMITICA, thanks also to the whole territory of the Colli di Coppi, to set up an event that has become an unmissable appointment for all the enthusiasts who, to commemorate the great champion Fausto Coppi , choose to come to our territory to discover truly legendary landscapes and itineraries all to be cycled.

LaMITICA is an event organised by the APS I COLLI DI COPPI that has obtained the patronage of the Piedmont Region, the Province of Alessandria, Alexala, GAL Giarolo Leader, the City of Tortona, di Novi Ligure and the Municipalities of Castellania, Costa Vescovato, Vilalvernia, Pozzolo Formigaro, Spineto Scrivia, Viguzzolo, Villaromagnano, Volpedo, Cassano Spinola and Sant'Agata Fossili and was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Tortona, SIMECOM-Gas e Luce and Unità Gamma Servizi di Sicurezza. Special thanks to Museo dei Campionissimi di Novi Ligure , to ACdB Museo Alessandria Città delle Biciclette, to Cooperativa Volpedo Frutta and Associazione Pellizza da Volpedo Onlus for the organization of the refreshments, as well as Associazione Fausto e Serse Coppi, Gamma Innovation, Ratti Carburanti, Ciclomania E-BikeRent Voghera, Cantine Volpi, Pella Sportswear, Salumificio Sabbione, Rolandi Auto, Saldema, La Bollina, Abbondio, Festina Orologi and Vignaioli del Tortonese. And also to the Associazione Nazionale Alpini Gruppo Protezione Civile, the Protezione Civile Gruppo Comunale di Tortona, CB Pupo Emergenza Radio, Croce Rossa-Tortona and Croce Verde-Villalvernia. To all the friends on motorbikes and who even before placed all the signs on the routes. To i-Bike for providing the broom van. And thanks to the Municipal Police of the municipalities touched by LaMITICA.

WELCOME TO 2019 when the 100th anniversary of Fausto's birth will be celebrated Coppi.

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