Interview with Antonio Scarpitti on the exciting new UCI Gravel Race in Sardinia

UCI Gravel World Series

The upcoming Giro Sardegna Gravel promises a thrilling experience for riders of all levels. Held amidst the picturesque backdrop of the island, this event offers a perfect blend of hospitality and challenging gravel tracks. We caught up with organizer Antonio Scarpitti, known as Tonino, to learn more about what participants can expect.

Could you tell us about the race venue and accommodations?

Tonino: The race kicks off right in front of the Marina Beach hotel, a luxurious four-star establishment. Participants can take advantage of special registration offers that include full board. It’s incredibly convenient as the race both starts and finishes at the hotel, eliminating any unnecessary stress.

How would you describe the course? Is it challenging?

Tonino: The course begins with a 12.8km start loop on smooth national roads, providing riders with an opportunity to position themselves before hitting the gravel sections. The main loop spans 41km and features some demanding terrain, including climbs and descents. Riders will tackle this loop two or three times before returning to the finish line.

What can riders expect during the start loop?

Tonino: The start loop offers a smooth introduction to the race, with wide roads allowing for easy overtaking. There’s a climb early on, but it’s balanced out by a descent as we head towards sea level to begin the main loop.

And what about the gravel sections?

Tonino: The gravel sections start directly for the initial 8 kilometres of the main loop, presenting riders with a challenging ascent. This is followed by a mix of paved roads with rolling hills, culminating in the highest point of the course at 225 meters above sea level. While the middle section consists of 14km on asphalt, the remainder of the course is back on gravel.

Will riders get to experience the beach?

Tonino: We’re still finalizing whether the route will traverse the sandy shoreline or stick to the adjacent paths. Regardless, participants will enjoy scenic views of the beach and sea before venturing into the tranquil Parc Naturel, characterized by flat terrain and pine forests. The final stretch of each loop includes a brief stint on asphalt.

How will the races be structured?

Tonino: We’ve opted to stagger the start times, with elite and younger categories commencing in the morning for three laps. Later in the afternoon, older categories, including men over 60 and women over 50, will tackle two laps. The podium ceremonies will take place in the hotel’s theatre, adding a touch of grandeur to the event.

We wish you the best of luck with the final preparations!

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