In the past years, there is one sport that has become more and more popular in our region, and that is biking. Some of the real experts on the matter may disagree with me, and tell me off by saying that it has always been popular, but I believe that the real success arrived thanks to one of the greatest riders in Italy: Michele Scarponi.
Michele Scarponi was a real Marchigiano, born and raised in our region. He was born in 1979 in Filottrano and always remained loyal to his region. He was a great example of the Italian cycling, and successfully won the Tirreno-Adriatico race in 2009 and the Giro d’Italia in 2011.
Very sadly for the whole cycling national and regional world, Michele Scarponi was fatally injured during training next to his home in 2017. Such a big tragedy hit the hearts of every Italian and witnessed real respect to this champion. Today we can find some commemorative plaque all over Italy, but the most important is in Le Marche. One is in the mountain hamlet of Castelletta which for Scarponi was “his personal Cima Coppi”. Cima Coppi is the usual name given to the hardest mountain to climb during the Giro D’Italia race, named after the Italian wheel legend from the 40s and 50s, Fausto Coppi.
The Giro d’Italia and the Tirreno-Adriatico races are the most important occasions to gather around national and regional characteristics, to follow the athletes all around Italy, cheer them and enjoy the beautiful Italian landscape. This year, the Tirreno Adriatico race started on the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, i.e. the West Coast and, after 7 days ended on the Adriatic Coast, i.e. the East Coast (where Le Marche is situated).
2019 is the lucky year for Le Marche, as there are several stages set here: the race passes through the villages of Acqualagna, Fossombrone, Pesaro and Cartoceto, among the others, continues along the coast with Marotta, Senigallia, Ancona, Loreto and Recanati, and has an entire stage dedicated to the Verdicchio Wine, the King in the hill area around Jesi. This stage, indeed, is set in the area where the Verdicchio Wine is produced, hence Matelica, San Severino Marche, Cingoli, Apiro, Maiolati, Ostra, Morro d’Alba, Monte San Vito and Jesi.
The race was born in 1966 and since 2005 has been part of the international cycling series “UCI World Tour”, which is organized by the International Cycling Federation. I am sure that our region is really proud of his well-beloved athlete, Michele Scarponi, and shows this pride in every race that has passed and will pass through our region!