Giro D'Italia Stops in Antholz-Anterselva
Almost every year, the best biathletes in the world head to Antholz-Anterselva at the end of January for the sixth stage of the BMW IBU World Cup. The Südtirol-Arena at 1635m altitude is famous for its tough tracks, a lot of sunshine and enthusiastic fans.
This year, however, another sporting highlight stopped at the biggest biathlon stadium in Italy: yesterday's 17th stage of the Giro D'Italia began in Commezzadura and took the riders to the finish line of the biathlon competitions in Antholz. The 181 km long stage featured multiple climbs, including the final 5.5 km with a gradient of 7% to the Südtirol-Arena, which will host the next IBU World Championships from 12 February - 23 February 2020.
The stage arrival of the Giro D'Italia was already promoted during this year's World Cup Stage 6 in Antholz-Anterselva, when 2-time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni and World Cup Overall Score Winner Dorothea Wierer faced off in a race to the finish-line:
Naturally, Dorothea Wierer, Lukas Hofer and Dominik Windisch didn't pass up on the opportunity to watch the Giro D'Italia arrive on their "home turf" and cheer on the athletes. The stage finish also provides significant promotion for the World Champions 2020: with the Italian success at the WCH 2019 in Östersund still fresh, Wierer, Hofer and Windisch were welcome TV interview guests during the broadcast of stage 17 and millions of viewers worldwide tuned in to watch the action yesterday.
The stage was won by Frenchman Nans Peters, who celebrated his first ever pro-victory in Antholz -- much to the delight of his biathlon compatriots like Emilien Jacquelin:
Today's 18th stage started at the foot of the Antholz-valley in Valdaora-Olang, leading the field to Santa Maria Di Sala west of Venice.
The Giro D'Italia concludes on Sunday, 2 June, with a time trail in Verona.
(Pictures: Petr Slavik, Organising Committee Antholz)