With six editions already under its belt, the Tour of the Alps presented its 2024 route on Tuesday, November 21, in Milan, as well as the goals that the G.S. Alto Garda aims to achieve in collaboration with the Euregio territories that have been architects and protagonists of this project since its inception: Tirol, Südtirol/Alto Adige, and Trentino.
From April 15 to 19, the cross-border event through the Euroregion seeks to reaffirm itself and continue to thrive through the innovative format that earned it its fortunes on the international level.
The five-year agreement signed with Infront – a global leader in sports marketing with a top-level portfolio – is the big-time novelty of the 2024 edition and confirms the rising trend of a project that somehow breaks away from traditional cycling benchmarks.
Around the race and its established technical depth, the Tour of the Alps increasingly affirmed itself as a universe of values, where the word “value” can be interpreted in different ways: technical, economic, promotional, environmental, and social.
Making the traversed territories – along with the teams and athletes – protagonists of a beautiful race, extremely popular also among TV fans, has been a distinctive trait of the Tour of the Alps from the start, further established over the years by a professional organizational team that also enhances the skills of those who contribute on a purely voluntary basis.
Similarly, the ever-increasing effort to create animation and involvement of local communities is a call for people to come together and enjoy a special occasion along the caravan, that cherishes the warm welcoming of the host locations: this lends a much broader significance to the sports event.
In terms of content and themes, the 2024 edition will bring a number of new appointments and initiatives, such as the Bike Experience promoted by Infront to introduce the event to a group of opinion leaders, as well as the collateral activities planned to raise public awareness on general interest topics, culminating on the last day with a social ride by prominent personalities. This, and much more, constitutes the universe of values of the Tour of the Alps.
CHALLENGING ROUTE WITH THE NEW “STRADA DEI BAITI”
The 47th edition – also counting the 40 years of the Giro del Trentino, upon whose roots the new event has founded its success – was received with great interest at the official presentation of the route. A well-designed mix of short, sparkling stages with surprises always around the corner, and constantly offering extraordinary views: after all, respecting and enhancing these territories and their mountains is what has made the Tour of the Alps a product appreciated by teams and spectators worldwide.
Twenty teams will participate, about half of which are expected to be World Teams. Starting in Südtirol/Alto Adige, among the vineyards of the Winestrasse/Strada del Vino, and finishing in Trentino, among the mountains of Valsugana, with two days in Tirol in the lower Inn valley, in Silberregion Karwendel: this is the summary of the 709.3 kilometers and 13,250 meters of total elevation gain of the course, that includes the absolute novelty of the “Strada dei Baiti”, a still unexplored (by professional cycling) and very challenging side of the Vetriolo Pass in Valsugana. It will be one of the decisive moments of a stage, the fourth, likely to significantly influence the fate of those aiming for the final victory.
NEUMARKT/EGNA, KURTINIG/CORTINA, SALURN/SALORNO (AND THEN LEIFERS/LAIVES): SÜDTIROL/ALTO ADIGE TAKES CENTER STAGE
Faithful to the rotation among the three territories, the start of the Tour of the Alps returns to Südtirol/Alto Adige: three years ago, it was Brixen/Bressanone, this time it’s Neumarkt/Egna. After the teams’ presentation on Sunday, April 14, the charming center nestled along the Weinstrasse/Strada del Vino, elected among Italy’s most beautiful villages, will welcome on Monday, April 15, the teams and champions at the start of the first 133.3 km stage, arriving in Südtirol/Alto Adige in Kurtinig a Weinstrasse/Cortina sulla Strada del Vino.
After leaving Neumarkt/Egna, the caravan will enter Trentino to tackle the long but regular climb to Andalo. Then, the riders will return to the Weinstrasse/Strada del Vino, heading towards Kurtinig/Cortina, where a circuit to be repeated twice begins, marked by the Penon/Penone climb (4.3 km at 9.4% average gradient). From the second summit, just 17 km remain to the finish: five of technical descent and the last 12 flat towards the finish line.
IN STANS AND SCHWAZ, TIROL HOLDS SURPRISES IN STORE
The longest stage is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, a 189.1 km effort from Salurn/Salorno, in Südtirol/Alto Adige, to Stans, in Tirol. After a long valley floor section and the climb to the Brenner Pass/Passo del Brennero, the athletes will cross the state border before reaching the Inn Valley.
The stage will then come alive with the climb to Gnadenwald (4.5 km at 7.6%), the summit of which is less than 15 km from the finish, and a final kilometer all slightly uphill towards Stans.
An all-Ti rolean stage, the third, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 127 km with start and finish in Schwaz, the main town of the Silberregion Karwendel. The route can be divided into two parts: the first 90 km travel the rolling roads of the Inn Valley, after which the riders will face the Weerberg (3.2 km at 9.9%) and Pillberg (3.2 km at 10.3%) climbs, to be tackled in quick succession, and to be repeated twice. An explosive finale, worthy of an Ardennes classic but set in the heart of the Alps.
Returning to Südtirol/Alto Adige with a fast transfer after the two Tirolean days, the TotA will set off from Leifers/Laives for the fourth stage on Thursday, April 18, ending after 141.3 km and just under 4,000 meters of elevation gain in Borgo Valsugana, in Trentino.
Having conquered the climbs of the San Lugano Pass and the Redebus Pass, a long and flowing descent will lead towards Pergine Valsugana, and then the Compet Pass climb (10.2 km at 8.3%) looms ahead of the athletes. The subsequent fast descent towards Levico Terme is interrupted to tackle an unprecedented side of the Vetriolo Pass (9.4 km at 8.7%), the “Strada dei Baiti”. After the KOM, a long descent leads to the valley floor, which the riders will soon leave to start the last challenge of the day, the Colle San Marco. From the top, the menu features 7 km of easy descent and 2 km of flat road towards the finish line set in downtown Borgo Valsugana.
BETWEEN BORGO AND LEVICO TERME, THE GRAND FINALE HIGHLIGHTS VALSUGANA
The final stage of the Tour of the Alps on Friday, April 19, entirely in Trentino in Valsugana, with start and finish in Levico Terme, features a reduced distance of 118.6 km but numerous difficulties that can shuffle the deck.
The initial part is characterized by a first circuit with two passes on the finish line of Levico Terme. Later, having passed Pergine Valsugana, the race enters the Mòcheni valley with a second loop of about 25 km to be repeated twice, featuring the double ascent of Palù del Fersina (12.5 km at 6.2%).
After the second descent, a few kilometers of flat precede the last climb of the race, the Tenna Pass, followed by a gentle slope that ends about 5 km from the conclusion. Most of these are downhill, but the thrilling last thousand meters uphill in the center of Levico Terme have all the characteristics to offer a worthy finale to the Tour of the Alps.
MANY PARTNERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: WITH INFRONT A NEW CYCLE BEGINS
In addition to the territorial bodies, numerous brands have believed in the Tour of the Alps and have confirmed their confidence to continue this successful journey also in 2024: this is the case for prestigious names such as Melinda, Cassa Centrale Banca, Alé, Vittoria, Suzuki, Sportler, and Autostrada del Brennero.
At the same time, the advent of Infront opens a new strategic cycle, destined to consolidate the relationship with historical partners, as well as opening ways for new companions to join: in the coming weeks, significant news is expected in this regard.
A strategic partnership, therefore, destined to give additional value to the Italian-Austrian stage race, already recognized as a reality of organizational and communicative excellence by cycling stakeholders and insiders.
Among the official suppliers, the refined Trentino wines of Val di Cembra and Acqua Eva (which springs from the highest source in Europe) are just the first of many realities called to let their excellences be appreciated among those – protagonists, enthusiasts, and professionals – who are already looking forward to embarking on this new adventure.
THE PROGRAM: 5 STAGES, 709.3 KM, AND 13,250 METERS OF ELEVATION GAIN
Here is the program of the Tour of the Alps 2024: 709.3 km divided into five stages, with 10 KOM and a total of 13,250 meters of positive elevation gain.
Monday, April 15, 2024
Stage 1: Neumarkt/Egna – Kurtinig an Weinstrasse/Cortina sulla Strada del Vino, 133.3 km
2,060 meters of elevation gain. Difficulty: ***
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Stage 2: Salurn/Salorno – Stans, 189.1 km
2,510 meters of elevation gain. Difficulty: **
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Stage 3: Schwaz – Schwaz, 127 km
2,360 meters of elevation gain. Difficulty: ***
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Stage 4: Leifers/Laives – Borgo Valsugana, 141.3 km
3,830 meters of elevation gain. Difficulty: ****
Friday, April 19, 2024
Stage 5: Levico Terme – Levico Terme, 118.6 km
2,490 meters of elevation gain. Difficulty: ***