Alé La Merckx Granfondo 2023
12 June 2023
The Granfondo Internazionale Alé La Merckx, a granfondo Verona, closed today with the victory in the long route of Andrea Bais from Trentino (team Sildom Garda). The women’s classification again saw victory for Maria Elena Palmisano from Lecce. In the middle distance first Tomaz Cefuta (ASD Flamme Rouge) and for women, Giulia Medri (Bikeconcept Team ASD).
The 16th edition of the Granfondo Internazionale Alé La Merck closed today the long weekend of great cycling in Verona, with the victory in the long route of Andrea Bais from Trentino and Maria Elena Palmisano from Lecce.
The event, which is one of the best-loved and most spectacular in north-eastern Italy and one of the Greats in Europe, saw several novelties this year, starting with the Expo village, located for the first time in the history of the event in the famous Piazza Bra, right in front of the famous Arena.
At the start many celebrities from the world of cycling, including several representatives of the World Tour teams of which Alé, the event’s main sponsor, is a partner. From the cyclamen jersey of the Giro d’Italia 2023 Jonathan Milan (team Bahrain Victorious) – who for the occasion sported a cyclamen-coloured custom Alé livery – to the reigning Italian champion Filippo Zana (team Jayco Alula), to New Zealander Laurence Pithie (Groupama FDJ) to Sonny Colbrelli, Adriano Malori and many others.
New for 2023 was the change of course for the main circuit. Compared to the old one, in fact, the cyclists from Erbezzo diverted towards Bosco Chiesanuova, heading towards the Branchetto Pass.
Here they tackled a series of climbs, descents and false slopes, until the last stretch about 2km from the summit, with a maximum gradient of 11%. After the Branchetto Pass, Cima Coppi of the granfondo, the circuit proceeded towards Velo Veronese, Roverè Veronese, and Cerro Veronese. In the vicinity of Grezzana the route then reconnected with the traditional circuit.
After an exciting race, and managed with care and skill, the final classification of the Men’s Granfondo saw the victory of Andrea Bais, followed by the second place of the Austrian Stefan Kirchmair (Team Sildom Garda ppt. 230) (1′ 54″ from Bais), and the third place of Francesco Romano (ASD Team Nuova Avir) arrived at 2′ 01″ from the Trentino.
The women’s race, as in the 2022 edition, was won by the Lecce teacher of the ASD Garda Scott Matergia team (bib 258) Maria Elena Palmisano, who led a race in total solitude, together with some team mates, after a breakaway that began about 10 km from the start.
Palmisano, who is in splendid form this year with several victories behind her, is a lover of climbs and, with her precise, cadenced pace, climbed towards the Torricelle finish line, winning after 4h 16′ 54″ of racing, conducted at an average speed of 31 km/h. She was followed after 15′ 34″ by Giulia Portaluri (MG.K. Vis – bib 334) and after 16′ 52″ by Luisa Isonni (ASD Boario – bib 373).
The Mediofondo course, on the other hand, saw a fierce sprint at the finish line, won by a few hundredths of a second by Tomaz Cefuta (ASD Flamme Rouge team – bib. 355) with 2h 7′ 3″ at an average speed of 38.5 km/h, followed by Diego Venturi (Alé Cipollini team – bib. 49) and Simone Logica (ASD Avesani).
In women, victory for Giulia Medri (Bikeconcept Team ASD) after 2h 20′ 21″ and an average of 34.8 km/h, followed by Alessia Bortoli (ASD Capitani Minuterie Metalliche) at 10″, and Micol Pizzamiglio (Highroad Team ASD) at 1′ 56″.