Now at its fifth edition, Alta Via Stage Race continues its journey of discovery to the Ligurian hinterland.
For the 2016 edition, thanks to the massive joining of forces by the organizing society LiguriaAVventura, the association Ospitalità Alta Via and the many volunteers who work for the event’s success, a considerable number of changes to the race course have been done, including the introduction of not less than five, new, stage venues from a total of nine.
Bolano and Sesta Godano are confirmed as departure and finish towns on the first day of racing, as Pigna and Airole will be on the last day. What lies in between is instead totally new and still to be explored.
Alta Via Stage Race welcomes Rezzoaglio, Livellato, Sassello, the mountain huts of Pian dei Corsi and Pian dell’Arma; all of them ready to host the amazing 2016 AVSR caravan, offering to this fantastic event – racers and staff – their warmest hospitality and logistic support.
Thanks to the new stage venues and to the route changes, the 2016 AVSR adventure is going to be even more exciting, with that bit of curiosity about the unknown course that will thrill those who have decided to face the whole challenge thanks to the Hero format – Hero enter -, as much as those who have chosen to race during one of the two Week End formats (first three or last three stages only) – Week End enter -.
The number of nationalities at the start line will make the race an even more rewarding experience. At the time of writing riders from nine countries have entered the event: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherland.
Back to the race course: the big news this year is that it gets up to speed for what concerns technology: the race tracks are now available as an interactive map, in addition to the more classical maps and gpx data download.
The differences between this year and the previous edition are clear at a first glance.
The 2016 race course is more balanced and it manages to stay high, especially within the area of the Beigua Park (Unesco Global Geopark) with stage venues at much closer distance from the race tracks. As a results the hours in the saddle will be less, but not a single meter will be cut from your fun on the bike!
In particular the two mountain huts of Pian dei Corsi and Pian dell’Arma, race venues, are located along the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri route, at 850 m and almost 1,400 m of elevation respectively: the ‘race village’ will be set there, in the middle of the mountains, with no need to go down the valley and come back up the day after!
As a result, there will be a general reduction of the total mileage of the stages. This year, the longest stage is going to be the third one, Rezzoaglio-Livellato, 84.5 km, against the 96 km of the Montoggio-Varazze , the fourth stage of the previous edition. This year, apart from the third one, all stages will be less than 66 km; in 2015 three of them were well above that mark.
Another important aspect to mention regarding the race as a whole is the great attention paid to the relationship between total climbing and total descending, which remain broadly equal, with 16,962 meters uphill and 16,506 meters downhill.
For more details you can visit the website and have a look at the single maps; you will realize how the best panoramas, the highest peaks and the most remote places of the Ligurian hinterland are still all within the area crossed by the race, ready to offer you an unforgettable experience!