Less than a month to go to the fourth running of the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO and this morning in the press conference at Bolzano many new features of and surrounding the event were introduced.
Introduced three years ago with an innovative and impactful format the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO can now be rightly considered as a real mountain bike long distance race classic. To take part in the race you need to train hard and to finish it you need to be a hero! However the HERO is not just a race and there are many elements which go into making it distinctive and this aspect was more than clear from this morning’s press conference – held at Flavon Castle in Bolzano – when, with the race date less than a month away, the Organising Committee spoke of the many new features for this year’s event. For the record the 22nd June will be the day when the starter’s gun will get the bikers on their way from Val Gardena (BZ).
UCI WORLD WORLD SERIES. The Südtirol Sellaronda HERO will be the last race before the 2013 Marathon World Championships in Kirchberg in the Austrian Tyrol, and the HERO has attracted many champions keen to fine tune their form. Elias Periklis, holder of the marathon world championship title won at Ornans last year, Steffen Thum and Sally Bigham, male and female winners of the UCI World Series 2012, will all be at the start, along with the winners of the HERO’s previous editions - Klaus Fontana (2010), Mirko Celestino (2011) and Leonardo Paez (2012).
Competing alongside the sport’s stars will be a horde of bikers, there being a total of 3,013 competitors coming from 30 countries.
NEW VARIATIONS TO COURSE ROUTES. As the HERO will host the UCI Marathon World Championships in 2015 and so as to respect the regulations of the international federation concerning the race distance the Organising Committee has modified the routes in accordance with the UCI request as applied to the marathon World Series. Consequently the 84 kilometre route (with 4,300 metres of altitude difference) will be the race route for the elite male category bikers (and all those holding a pass of a cycling federation affiliated to the UCI), whilst the ladies with the corresponding category requirements will do battle over the “renewed” 62 kilometre route. It is in fact this route which has undergone most changes so as to comply with UCI directives: in the Alta Badia part of the race a variation has been introduced so as to lengthen the overall distance, and likewise in Arabba, the result here being an addition of just over two kilometres, a change which has the extra advantage of freeing the centre of the Belluno town and ensuring greater safety for the bikers too. It should be mentioned that the two routes of 84 and 62 kilometres are open to male and female bikers of the “Hobby” category, they not having a pass of a federation affiliated to the UCI.
PRIZE MONEY. It’s the glory the bikers are after but the winners are also entitled to be rewarded in a way commensurate to the race status. The total prize money for the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO 2013 is50.000 Euro and the winners of the UCI marathon
km and 62
km will take home a cheque for 3.000 Euro. For the winners
of the “Hobby” category of the 84 kilometre race (both male and female) there
is a prize of a mountain bike Bianchi Methanol 29.4 SL, and there are numerous
other prizes for the first three classified including a Gopro video camera, MET
helmets, adidas eyewear, HERO saddles made by Selle San Marco.
PROGRAMME DETAILS. The event programme kicks off on the Thursday 20th June and the day after there will be the chance for competitors to try out the race route and there will also be the opening of the HERO Bike and Tech Expo at Selva Gardena, and it is from here that you can pick up your race-pack (on Thursday 20/6 from 14.00 to 20.00 and Friday 21/06 from 10.00 to 20.00). The Südtirol Sellaronda HERO gets going on Saturday 22nd June from 7.20 to 8.45 (your race number allocated to one of six starting grids) and the arrival of the winning female biker in the 62 km marathon is expected at about 11.20, while the winner of the male 84 kilometre marathon is expected to cross the finishing line at about 12.20. Following on from last year’s wonderful experience the Organising Committee have confirmed the Official Prize Ceremony for 21.00, and it will be proceeded by the group Westbound in concert: a charity event in favour of humanitarian projects in Africa. One of the side events not to miss is the showing of the HEROes documentary at the cultural centre in Selva Val Gardena at 18.00: a great chance to appreciate the competitive nature of the race. On Saturday keep an eye out for HERO KIDS: 300 young bikers competing on the roads around Selva.
HERO CHARITY. Activity in support of young sporting talent in South Tyrol is a constant
WATCH THE HERO LIVE. This year to the race will be shown in live streaming from 11.00 to 12.30 on the site sellarondahero.com, and in a programme service transmitted direct from Selva on RAI Sport (from 18.00 to 19.00) the race day’s events will be shown and discussed. Other special transmissions are scheduled for Sky and Eurosport.
HERO ORGANISATION. Looking ahead to 2015, the staff of the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO is already taking on a world championship look. Of particular note is that this year’s race can count on the contribution of 400 volunteers, easily recognisable as they will be wearing their new race day kit showing the phrase “FEEL THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HERO”.
WEEKEND ON 2 WHEELS. The day after the HERO the mountain bike season around the Sella Group area really gets into full swing for from Sunday the 23rd June the Sellaronda MTB TOUR opens giving the chance to circumnavigate the Sella Group by bike and with a little assistance from the lift systems! New for 2013 is the E-BIKE possibility, an almost relaxing way to bike and get around the mountains! Last but not least to mention is that the 23rd June is Sellaronda Bike Day: 20 thousand cyclists enjoying the Dolomites on this ‘closed to traffic’ day.
A BIG THANK YOU GOES TO… Organising a race such as the Südtirol Sellaronda HERO involves coordinating and managing the assistance provided by many public bodies and private companies, without which the race would never have become that which it is today in terms of status and popularity.
«It is for this reason that in the name of the Organising Committee I wish to thank all who support the event – said Gerhard Vanzi – including the UCI and Italian Cycling Federation, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, all the various Town Councils, Tourist Consortiums, Tourism Promotion Associations of Val Gardena and the four valleys of Alta Badia, Arabba, Val di Fassa, Alpe di Siusi, as well as the Tourism Association of Selva Val Gardena».
Furthermore a special vote of thanks goes to the large pool of sponsor partner companies and a warm welcome indeed to the new sponsors - Bianchi, Land Rover, Sparkasse, Marlene, Dolomiti Adventures, and Leitner for having chosen the HERO as an effective means for their promotion towards bikers.
«The final word goes to all the volunteers who give up of their free time to ensure the HERO always wins, for they too are heroes» so concluded Gerhard Vanzi.
Comitato Südtirol Sellaronda Hero
Associazione Turistica Selva Gardena
Str. Meisules, 213
I-39048 Selva Gardena (BZ)
Tel. +39 0471 777900
Fax +39 0471 792245