While a number of spring races have already been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, two new races have been created in Italy thanks to the GS Emilia, who already organise the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and the Giro dell’Emilia.
The organisation have created a 1.1-category race named ‘Per sempre Alfredo’ in Florence to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Italian national coach Alfredo Martini, which will be held on March 21.
Meanwhile, the new stage race, the Settimana Ciclista Italiana, will be a 2.1 race held from July 14-18 and should attact WorldTour and ProTeams. Little else is known about the race so far, though it will be held during the final week of the Tour de France, with organiser GS Emilia promising more details in the next few weeks.
Per sempre Alfredo will honour Martini, who passed away in 2014, but had a hugely influential role in the sport after riding as a professional between 1941 and 1957.
He was a directeur sportif with the Ferretti and Sammontana teams between 1969 and 1974, pulling off a surprise victory at the 1971 Giro d’Italia with Gösta Pettersson.
Martini became a legendary figure when he was in charge of the Azzurri, managing to convince many of the most successful Italian riders to work together for the good of the nation. Martini was national coach when Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Saronni, Moreno Argentin and Gianni Bugno won a series of world titles for Italy.
The race will be held two days before the start of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in nearby Emilia Romagna and so extend the block of Italian spring races and offer an alternative to the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and the early cobbled Classics.
GS Emilia also organise Trofeo Laigueglia, which kicks off the Italian season on March 3. They also organise the GP Industria e Artigianato in Tuscany on the day after Strade Bianche.
Their races held later in th season include the Memorial Marco Pantani on September 18, the Trofeo Matteotti on September 19, the men’s and women’s Giro dell’Emilia on October 2 and the men’s and women’s Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli on October 3.
The Italian season is scheduled to start with the Trofeo Laigueglia before Strade Bianche on Saturday March 6. Tirreno-Adriatico continues the series of WorldTour races between March 10-17, with Milan-San Remo coming on Saturday March 20.