World Press Cycling Championship 2019: Alessandro Ballan certifies the course of the race

By Elisa BOFFELLI, Italy, May 20, 2019: In 2019, the Veneto will honour the regional tradition of cycling by hosting the twentieth edition of the World Press Cycling Championship.

The preparations for the weekend from 12 to 15 September 2019 are underway, including the inspection of the race course with Alessandro Ballan, the champion of Varese 2008:

the race will start at Bassano del Grappa and the finish line will be at the top of the famous ascent of Rosina di Marostica, a challenging 100 kilometres further on.

The race considers the needs of all participants and also allows them to discover much of the area.

Who better to test an international course than a world champion?

And so, Alessandro Ballan, world champion of Varese 2008, took part in the inspection of the course of a race that, on Sunday 15 September, will see the awarding of world titles for the 20th edition of the World Press Cycling Championship for journalists who love cycling.

In 2019, as many as 200 international reporters will set aside their pens and notebooks and compete in a thrilling race on the roads of the Veneto.

Bassano del Grappa and Marostica will be respectively the starting point and finishing point of the race, broadcast live with commentary by local lad Ballan.


The course of the race, divided into three different parts, has been studied in detail to ensure the right balance between safety, scenery and excitement.

The first part will start at the Rino Mercante Velodrome in Bassano del Grappa, an iconic place of Italian cycling and the grounds of some great battles of the past on two wheels.

“This first section, covering a dozen kilometres, is only to get to the start,” said Mr. Ballan. “But it is a good chance to get those legs all warmed up ready for the proper race”.


The group will pace themselves through the historic centre of the city located on the banks of the Brenta river and on to the town of Nove, famous for its ceramics.

“Here, the cyclists take their feet off the pedals,” said Alessandro.

“In front of the Town Hall of Nove will be the starting point for the second part of the race that will be on quieter roads and cover just over 9 kilometres.” Cyclists in the M1 and M2 categories will have to cover this distance 8 times, while those in the M3 and Women’s categories will do four laps.

The roads in this area are such that the athletes can comfortably race in both directions and onlookers will be able to enjoy the show with the constant flow of competitors.

“It is a course that reminds me of some parts of the Northern hell,” remarked the winner of the Tour of Flanders 2007.

“We had to race along roads in the countryside with constant surprises around bends. Those who want to be in with a chance of winning will have to stay ahead!”

TAKING ON THE ROSINA/World Press Cycling Championship

After the second part of the race, the participants will head towards Marostica for a long 16.6 km final sprint that will take them through Porta Vicentina to beautiful Piazza Castello, a square emblematic of the historical beauty of this corner of Italy.

“This is where, as in a chess game, the world championship enters its decisive stage: the long distance cyclists will have to give way to the climbers,” said Eros Maccioni, two times WPCC winner, referring to the square where the famous chess game in costume is held.

After entering the Castle of Marostica, the athletes follow the streets in the centre to the foot of the Rosina for the ascent to the finish line at the top.

“There is a climb of just under three kilometres with a gentle start that soon builds up to a 8% gradient and then levels slightly at 6.9%, to resume again with a couple of challenging bends,” Ballan said.

“It is a not impossible climb with peaks of 10%, but it is a stretch of road that can sorely test the legs of many participants who have already covered a hundred kilometres.”

By the end, the cyclists in the M1 and M2 categories will have covered a distance of 101.5 kilometres, while those in the M3 and Women’s categories will have cycled for 65.1 kilometres.


The course was studied paying special attention to the safety of the participants of an event that involves a considerable number of athletes with different physical and technical abilities.

It is important to choose a circuit that is mainly flat and, as best as possible, away from the main traffic arteries in the area.

The main circuit clearly, therefore, has to be outside built-up areas on roads that can be closed for the duration of the competition.

However, the World Press Cycling Championship will also be an opportunity for the Veneto to make its countryside and historical heritage known.

The World Press Cycling Championship are in fact part of the new tourism project called “The Land of Venice” which aims to exploit the fame of the lagoon city and promote the beauty of the entire region. —-

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