The BGY Airport Granfondo fastens its seatbelt and gears up for the start
The BGY Airport Granfondo, scheduled for Sunday 14 May in Bergamo, was presented on Wednesday, April 12 in the heart of the city. The partnership with the Milan Bergamo Airport was praised by all who were in attendance, as it boosts initiatives to promote the area to the world
The presentation of the BGY Airport Granfondo, Bergamo’s cycling event scheduled for Sunday 14 May, was held on Wednesday 12 April at the Banco BPM headquarters, in the heart of Bergamo. The press conference was attended by representatives from regional, provincial, and municipal institutions, from SACBO S.p.A. – the managing company of the Milan Bergamo Airport, the granfondo’s new partner as of this year, and from the Italian Cycling Federation.
Among the speakers were Bergamo’s Mayor Giorgio Gori, Councillor Loredana Poli, Banco BPM Director Roberto Perico, Provincial Councillor Giorgia Gandossi, Police Commissioner Ismaele Gatti, Regional Councillor Paolo Franco, SACBO President Giovanni Sanga, Italian Cycling Federation President Cordiano Dagnoni, and Bianchi’s Marketing and Communication Manager Claudio Masnata.
The press conference’s main topic was the new chapter with the Milan Bergamo Airport for the new event. This represents a historic change for the granfondo, which was inaugurated in 1996. With the first 24 editions dedicated to the unforgettable Bergamo champion, Felice Gimondi – to whom the hall gave a warm round of applause – the G.M.S. organisers decided to turn the page completely by teaming up with one of Bergamo’s most recognisable institutions: its airport. This hard-won decision was supported by all who were in attendance, who placed emphasis on the project’s bright future, as well as the event’s increasingly international recognition, and its benefits to the entire province in terms of tourism.
Managed by SACBO, the airport facility is one of Bergamo’s major assets. Not only is it ranked third in Italy in terms of passengers, but it’s also the first in Europe to be awarded the Bike-Friendly certification, thanks to the services available to cyclists and to its proximity to the city. It’s possible to reach the starting line by bike in just five minutes, which makes it one-of-a-kind from an international perspective.
The start is in the heart of Bergamo, on the Via Marzabotto, with the Lazzaretto serving as the traditional event headquarters. Over the years more than 90,000 cyclists have ridden the roads of Bergamo and its province through the six valleys and 37 municipalities covered by the three routes, ranging from 89.4 km for the Short route to 128.8 km for the Medium and 162.1 km for the Long.
Some of Bergamo’s most iconic points will set the stage for a day of celebration for all two-wheel enthusiasts, from the Colle Gallo to the Orrido di Bracca, from the San Pellegrino Terme to Selvino, where the traditional “Eugenio Mercorio Uphill Time Trial” will once again take place, with prizes for the fastest rider to conquer this climb measuring 10.4 km with an average 5 to 10 percent grade and 621 meters of elevation gain.
As usual, this edition of the granfondo will also have its own official jersey, which can be purchased either together with registration or individually. This heirloom jersey has once again been designed by Bergamo-based Santini Cycling Wear, which also designs the coveted Tour de France jerseys, among others. The design, conceived for the SANTINI Virtus – as it has been named – is dedicated to Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture, and features the colours of the two cities, blue and light blue for Brescia, yellow and red for Bergamo.
Speaking of culture, for 2023 the G.M.S. organisers have once again proposed an initiative to support Bergamo art. Their collaboration with the Creberg Foundation has made it possible to see works by the versatile local artist, Emilio Belotti, which will be displayed at the Lazzaretto throughout the event weekend, after having been revealed at the press conference.
The trophy has once again been crafted by Maestro Antonino Rando, the Bergamo artist who has created a bronze sculpture titled “Bergamo Alta, the bicycle and the plane,” where the bike takes centre stage together with the skyline of the Upper City, one of Bergamo’s symbols par excellence. The bas-relief also shows the windows of a plane, which represents the partnership with the city’s airport. The trophy symbolizes both Bergamo’s bond with its history, but also its continuing desire to look ahead – to be a modern province that’s ready to take-off.
Other focal points of the Granfondo are road safety and sustainability. Regarding road safety, the scrupulousness and attention that G.M.S. has dedicated to training new employees and to route signage are evidenced by the record number of 264 security staff members, who will make the race safer for all enthusiasts, and by the synergy with the police department.
As far as sustainability is concerned, the event’s commitment increases year after year. After having launched EcoZones: spaces specifically dedicated to disposing of water bottles, small bottles, gel and snack wrappers, and waste in general; and creating initiatives to reduce plastic consumption, this year Sarco Toyota will provide electric cars for the race service course, while the collaboration with Uniacque will eliminate the transport and storage of 18 pallets of plastic bottles.
In addition, informative panels will be set up in the Expo Village with practical tips for participants and exhibitors to reduce their impact on the environment. These tips range from choosing food to conscious waste behaviour of all kinds to organising personal transportation – by bike, of course, wherever and whenever possible.
As for the partners, the big new addition is the Milan Bergamo Airport, the new title sponsor of the event, which is promoted by the Lombardy Region, the Province, the Municipality, and the Bergamo Chamber of Commerce. Bianchi is the technical sponsor, while BancoBPM is confirmed as official sponsor; Estra and GLS are official partners. L’Eco di Bergamo returns as the media partner. The wine is Franciacorta, and Concessionaria Sarco will supply the official cars.
Long-standing official supporters are FSA Vision, Iper, Santini Cycling Wear, TAB, Ethic Sport, Vittoria, and Zurich. They are joined by newcomers Carvico Fabrics and LA.SI Distribuzione. Cappello d’Oro Best Western Hotel continues to be the official hotel, with the banner sponsors completed by official suppliers Nuncas, Uniacque and new entry Gerard’s Cosmetic Culture.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHES
Registration for the 2023 edition of the BGY Airport Granfondo is scheduled to end on Friday 21 April.