This weekend will see our African Team take on yet another double Italian semi-classic combo, with the Giro dell Emilia on Saturday and the Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli on Sunday.
The Giro dell Emilia takes place over 207km between Bologna and San Luca, with UCI 1.HC event expected to once again suit the punchy climbers. With the final monument of the year taking place next week, Giro di Lombardia, we can expect many top contenders to start Emlia with Lombardia on their minds.
Team Dimension Data will start with a climber focused squad including Merhawi Kudus, Ben O’Connor, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Steve Cummings, Natnael Berhane, Nic Dlamini and Scott Davies.
For Sunday’s race, Johann van Zyl will replace Merhawi Kudus as the riders are set to take on the 196km circuit race around Monteveglio. Each lap is up a short sharp climb so our African Team will be hoping for a tough race, in order to distance any punchy sprinters at the start.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
This weekend we have two very tough Italian classics coming up. Typical small Italian roads and steep climbs will test the legs of everyone in the peloton. Positive racing is essential to do well in these end of year classics, so that will be our intention this weekend. A good result here will also go a long way to setting up our team for Lombardia next weekend.
Jacques Janse van Rensburg
Johann van Zyl
The first winner of the Giro dell’Emilia in 1909, was Italian Eberardo Pavesi. He rode for the Atala-Dunlop team. In 1912 he won the Giro d’Italia together with his teammates as the event was contested by teams. The legendary Italian team raced under the same (Atala) title name for 80 years until 1989.
The first edition of the Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli in 1996, was won by the notorious “Super Mario” Cippolini. Also known as the “Lion King”, Cipo won the Italian national title in 1996. At the peak of his career, Cipollini’s speed was unrivaled, and he is credited with being the first rider with a sprint train.