1,400 participants, including 400 foreigners, coming from all over the world. These are the first numbers for Eroica Montalcino 2019, the historical cycling event on white, or gravel, roads coming to the home of Brunello on 28 May concurrently with the European Parliament elections. The programme was announced on 15 April at the headquarters of the Brunello Consortium (which immediately embraced the project), in the presence of Confcommercio and a number of local associations. Because “our intention is to listen to your opinions, involve the town and share the project with the inhabitants of Montalcino”, explained Franco Rossi, vice-president of Eroica Italia, who rattled off the numbers for the previous edition. A total of 7,000 attendees, 3,000 rooms occupied, 19 local associations, 30 small sponsors and 120 volunteers involved. He then illustrated the 2019 programme, with 3 days of festival, which will conclude with the final competition, five routes of increasing lengths – 27, 46, 70, 96 and the longest, 153 kilometres, which will follow the permanent route presented during Benvenuto Brunello in February.
The numerous activities will include 40 Eroica market stalls near the Fortezza, circus shows for kids and adults alike, the Eroica Dinner organized by the Montalcino Districts, prize-giving for the Best Eroica Shop Window competition between stores and businesses in the old town, and the dinner on 24 May to recount the Eroica Montalcino stage of the 2010 Giro d’Italia, with the former mayor of Montalcino, Maurizio Buffi, Eroica founder Giancarlo Brocci, director of the Giro d’Italia, Mario Vegni, and former champion Damiano Cunego, who placed second in that stage behind Cadel Evans.
In conclusion, besides wine, a booster for the local economy can also be found in sport – on two wheels in this case. Moreover, cycling tourism is one of the projects the Tuscany Region will be strongly focusing on in the coming years, seeing as it marries perfectly with slow tourism and safeguarding the environment.