Pedaling: the 5 places where you can find the cycling Pros in Liguria
Many champions choose our region to prepare the season. Here’s where to find them!
Wavy routes. Characteristic villages and green intact woods. Mild temperatures, which are unique in the middle of winter. Locations that are very well-connected with the main centers of Northern Italy. Roads that made the history of cycling.
These are some of the reasons that push bicycle-lovers to choose Liguria for their winter traning. Our region really has an extra gear for professional cyclists.
Here are the best places to pedal in the sun and, perhaps, meet a champion in training!
We cannot speak of bicycles without talking about Sanremo: it not only is the city of flowers, and of the italian singer’s festival, but it also is the place of arrival of the Milano-Sanremo cycling race, the very classic race that every year opens the competitive season in Italy.
Thus, many enthusiasts do not want to miss the opportunity of experiencing the switchbacks of Capo Berta, Cipresso or Poggio, in order to emulate the famous italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali. If you are lucky enough, you can also find some professionals training and look for the right pedaling for the Milano-Sanremo race.
2. Cycle Path of the Western Riviera
The Western Riviera seems to be the most loved by professionals: between Sanremo, Imperia and Andora trenches of bicycles led by the flagship car, as in use for cycling teams. We will then host the Area24 cycle path, which is one of the longest in Europe, and it is build on the track of the former ancient railway. From Ospedaletti to San Lorenzo al Mare, you will experience 24 km of nature, relax, training, and playing sport in the sun of the Riviera dei Fiori. A new project aim to extent Area24 to 60 km and to become a two-way street. A true bicycle paradise famous all over the world.
In Laigueglia, a calm village a step by Alassio’s nightlife, has been accustomed to the clicks of the bikes for years now. The city has been hosting the Laigueglia Trophy for 56 year, and the race has become a classic race to open the season. Loved by young professionals, the trophy has always had the role of consecrating new stars in the cycling firmament. In its golden register we can find some of the most important names in the history of cycling, from Michele Dancelli to Franco Bitossi, from Eddy Merckx to Beppe Saronni, from Bartoli, Savoldelli, Ballan to a very young Lancestong Lance.
For amateurs, on the other hand, there is the international Granfondo of Laigueglia.
4.The Three Capes
Those who go by bike knows it: Capo Mele bends you, Capo Berta breaks you and Poggio kills you. This is what it’s said by who follows the Milano-Sanremo Race on TV. However, while leading your bike, you will enjoy the wonderful landscapes: the flowery hills full of Mimose, the steep and rocky sea-coast, and some olive trees still to be pruned.
(A secret: you can avoid the tough Capo Berta by doing the so called “Ufinished”: a completely flat coastal-road that starts shortly before the uphill road and get around the cape. Although to be onest, where would the fun part be?)
5. Le Manie
It is an ascent near Finale Ligure, introduced in 2008 due to a landslide that blocked the Via Aurelia between Noli and Varigotti. It immediately entered the hearts of the bikers: it starts from the village and reaches a gradient of 5% to 9%, with snakes and hairpin bends between olive trees and cactus. Do not consider a distraction or a shortcut, because well trained legs are required. But do not panic because – one passed Voze and the mystical plateau of the Mànie, where time seems to have stopped – a very steep road heads to the sea and reaches Finale Ligure. Do not miss it!
Noli and Bergeggi