Eleven itineraries in breathtaking backdrops, like Tuscany's many art and monumental cities and its wild nature and enchanting countryside, are the same routes that Tuscany's greatest cycling champs raced and trained on: Gino Bartali, Fiorenzo Magni, Gastone Nencini and Franco Ballerini. These are itineraries that are part of the history of Italian cycling, but they are also representative of the beauty, uniqueness, culture and history of the Tuscan region. Thus, those who decide to visit Tuscany have a wealth of options to choose from: an itinerary from the World Road Championships, a trekking tour through the country, a mountain-biking tour in the mountains, and even a motorcycle tour along the region's winding country roads. Cycling aficionados and lovers of slow travel alike will be able to visit and experience several stretches of the 2013 world championship routes.
The 2013 World Road routes travel through Florence, Lucca, Pistoia and Montecatini Terme, some of the most beautiful cities in Italy, rich in naturalistic and architectural treasures that helped build the region's decades-long cycling tradition. A region rich in natural and varied treasures, difficult slopes, uphill stretches and long sprints and trajectories on flatlands: all of this is sure to please any cycling-lover, especially the world's best.
Several events have been organized to pay homage to Tuscany's great cyclists. The first event was held on September 22, during which the female team, Donna Elite, raced along the same route that was used in 1870 for the National Cycling Championships. Cyclists pedalled for 36.10km, from Piazza Duomo to Pistoia and raced to the finish line in Florence's Mandela Forum. On September 24, the Men's Under 23 individual race also took to the route.
The Men's Elite Team raced the most spectacular routes of all on September 29, which started along the imposing medieval walls of Lucca and finished in Florence. Cyclists raced for 267km, 59km of which uphill, through Montecatini Terme and Pistoia (it is the same route that the world champs will race along in 2013!). Perhaps the most difficult stretch is the uphill climb in Montecatini Alto (circa at the 30km), followed by San Baronto stretch (circa at the 50km), and continues the stretch made famous by Franco Ballerini. Finally, the route enters the Florence area, which is characterized by a uphill climbs at every curve, like those in Fiesole and on via Bolognese (at 590m and at a max. 19.4 percent inclination).
From medieval Lucca to the centre of Montecatini Terme and the climb up to Vico until the naturalistic jewels of Valdinievole and Valle di Bisenzio, there are several occasions to pedal stretches of the route that will bring the cycling world to Tuscany in 2013: 11 races on 11 itineraries that can be experienced by cycling tourists who seek the high emotions like the cycling greats of Tuscany's past. All of this and more can be yours… in Tuscany.