Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia in Miami-Coral Gables a Great Success

Announced plans for the 2013 Season in the U.S.

The “pink days” are still fresh in the hearts of many American cyclists, who partook in the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia recently in Miami and Coral Gables. On Saturday, November 10th, several stands at the Expo welcomed bike enthusiasts from all over the country with a showcase of the latest products. Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, a strong advocate of cycling, paid a visit to the various exhibitors, remarking how important it is to promote this sport which is not only excellent in supporting people’s health but also preserving the environment, a subject very dear to bike-friendly Miami.

In the evening, at the breathtaking Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables, the festivities continued with an elegant reception featuring outstanding guests: the campionissimo Mario Cipollini, the event’s testimonial; former professional cyclists Danilo Di Luca and Filippo Pozzato; and Formula 1 former driver Jarno Trulli, a bike enthusiast. Commissioner Ralph Cabrera, on behalf of the administration of Coral Gables, donated the Seal of the City to Super Mario and to Lorenzo De Salvo, who represented RCS Sport. De Salvo grabbed the attention of the more than 100 VIPs with the 2013 plans for the Giro d’Italia signature Gran Fondo, which will be part of the Sea Otter Classic on April 20, and the Five Boro Bike Tour New York on May 5. In addition to Pasadena on June 2, organizers are also in discussion with glamorous Beverly Hills in October, before a classic conclusion in Miami and Coral Gables on November 10. “The format Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia represents a very important project to develop the knowledge and appreciation of the Giro d’Italia brand in the world, specifically in the United States. The events will convey the philosophy and the values of Giro to the world. We want to grow slowly and steadily,” said De Salvo. “This was our Year Zero: we are now ready to embrace 2013.” The iconic brand such as Giro was well presented with an emotional video, which captured in a few minutes unforgettable images – the best of the Giro d’Italia, from yesterday and today.

On Sunday, clouds of pink balloons bobbed near the starting line, celebrating the event’s start on Miracle Mile. About one thousand riders – lined up since dawn nearby Coral Gables City Hall – were ready to experience the wild excitement of the mass start. Pavarotti’s operatic buongiorno faded away to the rhythm of “We are the Champions,” while the countdown was led by the Consul General of Italy in Miami, Adolfo Barattolo. Next to the original trophy of the giro (“Senza fine”), beautiful Italian model Claudia Romani waved to the riders from the podium along with young Beatrice Fogliata. Opening the courses were three lovely FIAT 500s from Fiat North Miami and a Ducati, part of the several Italian touches to the event. “It was so emotional to start next to so many champions,” said one of the participants. In key position, relaxed but ready to bite, were Cipollini in World Championship gear, Danilo Di Luca, Filippo Pozzato, Jarno Trulli and the ex pro Andrea Tonti and the beautiful American pro Liz Hatch. The riders concluded the different routes (25, 55 and 101 miles) at the Expo, where a delicious pasta party refilled their carbs and repaid their efforts.

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia experience offered many extraordinary moments: the courses, the battle with the wind, the picture with the signorine and the original trophy…. All those emotions will find a special place in the memory of those participants, who arrived from all over the United States and, in a good number, also from Italy. The next exciting 2013 Gran Fondo event will be in Monterey, California in the spring, for the inaugural Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Sea Otter Classic. For additional information please visit www.granfondogiroditalia.com.

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