Just a few days after the closure of a long season, cycling has lived an important preview of what’s coming in the next with the presentation of the 2018 Tour of the Alps.
The professional stage race returns from April 16 to 20, 2018 coming off the success of the inaugural edition (its visibility revenue was estimated in over 10 Million Euro).
The 2018 season will bring the Road World Championship to Tyrol in September, and the Tour of the Alps will offer a first taste of what the riders should expect in the rainbow race.
“The Tour of the Alps has always been a significant moment of the season, but this time, with the inclusion of the World Championships’ circuit, it becomes even more important,” said Italian National Team Coach Davide Cassani. “This year again, the GS Alto Garda managed to chart a well-rounded and spectacular route, with everything in place to test the most expected Giro d’Italia contenders. From a technical point of view, I believe this race to be the best step on the way to the Giro d’Italia: as it proved many times in the past, the Tour of the Alps can be a springboard towards pink ambitions.”
The 2018 edition will start on the northern shores of Lake Garda and end in Innsbruck after a total of 714km of testing but not overly mountainous racing. The five stages include 10 categorised climbs and a mountain finishe at Alpe di Pampeago, but stage distances are never more than 160km.
A transfer will move the race to the starting venue of the final day, Rennenberg, where the start of the World Championships’ time-trials will also be given. This will be the longest stage of the 2018 edition: after a first stretch to reach Innsbruck, the race will enter the final circuit.
The Team Up award, created in agreement of Michele Scarponi’s family will reward the team providing the best collective effort on each day. The winning team will be called on the main stage at the start on the following day, and will deliver a Tour of the Alps’ contribution to a voluntary group active in the start city.
Twenty professional teams will be at the start of the Tour of the Alps, with a significant presence of World Teams. Leading the teams’ list will be the one that conquered the last Giro del Trentino in 2016, with Mikel Landa, and the first Tour of the Alps in 2017 with Geraint Thomas – Team Sky.
Here is the route of the 2018 Tour of the Alps:
Stage 1 – Monday April 16th
Arco – Folgaria, km 134,6
Altitude: 2530m. Difficulty: ***
Stage 2 – Tuesday April 17th
Lavarone – Fiemme/Alpe di Pampeago km 145,5
Altitude: 2900m. Difficulty: ****
Stage 3 – Wednesday April 18th
Ora/Auer – Merano/Meran km 138,3
Altitude: 2600m. Difficulty: **
Stage 4 – Thursday April 19th
Chiusa/Klausen – Lienz km 134,3
Altitude: 2300m. Difficulty: ***
Stage 5 – Friday April 20th
Rattenberg – Innsbruck km 161,6
Altitude: 2770m. Difficulty: ***