Saturday, 16 February 2013

Classica Citta di Padova 2013

16.03.2013 Official Site
Italy, One-day road race, 126km
UCI 1.1

Warmer nations - Qatar, Costa Rica, El Salvador - got the women's professional cycling season off to a fine start before the first European races in Belgium and the Netherlands; then we had the Asian and Oceania Championships in India and Australia respectively. Now another one of cycling's homelands, a nation where cycling grew to become almost a religion for the legendarily passionate local fans, is ready to join in: the Classica Citta di Padova is Italy's first UCI Elite Women event of the year.

Carmen Small  became the first foreigner
to win the race in 2012 and earned a
place on the Specialized-Lululemon
team by doing so.
Now in its fifth year, Italian riders won the first three editions: Annalisa Cucinotta in 2008, then Monia Baccaille (who gave birth to a daughter, Aurora, a little over one month before the 2013 race) and Noemi Cantele in 2009 and 2010 respectively; the race was not held in 2011 but returned in 2012 when American Carmen Small became the first non-Italian rider to win when she took the honour in 2012, her first European victory. However, foreign riders have tended to do well with Lithuanians, Australians and Canadians all getting their feet on the podium and, with the race enjoying increasing popularity, this is likely to continue as it attracts more and more foreign teams and riders.

The season-opening races in the flat Low Countries tend to favour climbers because although the hills are small, they're very steep; meanwhile Italy, which has some of the most beautiful and challenging mountain roads to be found in Europe, gets things under way with a sprinter's race - the Classica features just three easy climbs of which the highest rises only 33m to 45m above sea level in 2.9km, creating an average gradient of only a little more than 4%. What's more, all three climbs fall within the 26.8km that make up the first part of the race; the remaining 99.2km (consisting of eight laps around a 12.4km circuit) are as flat as flat can be with only 9m of climbing split between three almost imperceptible hills on each lap.

The Parcours

The race begins on the wide and flat Via Roma in Noventa Padovana, approximately 8km from the centre of Padua, and an area noted for the many large, lavish villas that reveal it to be the second richest place in the province of Padua after Padua itself. After 1km the road forks; the riders follow it to the left to take the Via Camin onto a bridge crossing the Canale Piovego, which is the first potential hazard - although the bridge is not narrow, it's not wide enough for the entire peloton to get through en masse which, with the Via Roma encouraging a fast start, may happen. If so, some riders are going to have to give way; there may be an early crash here.

Riders complete the entire route (red and green) once, then
eight laps of the red circuit. Click to enlarge.
Having turned right once over the bridge, the riders follow the Via Camin as it bends left around a wooded area and then becomes the Via Corsica 1.8km from the start. The Via Corsica becomes the Via delle Granze; simple left, right and left turns lead onto the Via Lisbona and then Via Belgio, the latter ending in a left turn onto the Via della Regione Veneta leading to the Via Vignovese - also known as the SP40d, it leads the race into Tombelle before becoming the SP17 and presenting the riders with the first climb at 6.7km from the start. Climbing 33m in 0.8km gives it an average gradient of 4.1%, unchallenging but perhaps just sufficient for the all-rounders to get away from the specialist sprinters; something that's unlikely to make much difference so early in the race, but as it provides a chance to show off jerseys out at the head of the race (thus making sponsors happy) a chance that some riders may choose to grab.

Following the road to the right as it forks on the eastern side of Tombelle continues along the SP17, now known as the Via Padova and heading through open countryside (with potential sidewinds) to a bridge. On the opposite bank is Vigonovo; the SP17 leads into the centre of the town and turns right at a roundabout before curving left to another bridge. This forms the second climb at 9.5km - rising 29m in 0.9km gives it an average gradient of 3.2%; even less of a challenge but another opportunity for a break to form or for all-rounders who failed to get into an earlier break to attack and bridge to it. The road leads into Fosso, becoming the Via Roma after a left turn at a roundabout, riders follow it into the centre of the town and turn left onto the SP12, heading north to the third climb at 12.1km - this one ascends 28m in 1.9km, giving an average gradient of only around 1.5%.

The SP12 continues north through open countryside and past villages, then over a bridge at Brigo-Paluello. 400m from the bridge, the route turns right onto the much smaller Via Piove leading to the SR11, upon which the riders turn west to head back towards Novento Padovana, passing through Fiesso d'Artico before continuing all the way to the Via Noventana and on to the start line, where they begin the first of the 12.4km laps.

The Classica Citta di Padova is not a race for the
climbers. Click to enlarge.
For the initial 4.9km into Tombelle, the lap parcours follows the same route as the first section; however, where the first section followed the SP17 to the right into Vignovo, the riders now keep left, following a straight road for 0.69km to a sharp left turn, then continue for 0.19km to a roundabout and the Via Cristoforo Colombo. This leads into Casa Gottero, where a left turn finds the Via Dante which, after 0.22km, reaches a bridge; riders turn right onto it and then left onto the Via Noventana, following it back the same way as earlier to the start line for the beginning of a new lap. There will be intermediate sprints on the second, fourth, sixth and eighth laps offering 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point for the first five riders.

The laps route resembles a criterium race and is characterised by numerous tight corners, a combination that provides many opportunities for attacks and breakaway attempts by groups or individuals. If a group formed of strong riders early on, they might simply pull further and further away from the peloton, thus whittling down contenders to just those sprinters in the group and able to keep up the pace for however much of the race is left; alternatively, there is plenty of scope for the peloton to send chasers after breaks, either keeping the bunch together all the way or bringing it back together as the finish line draws near - the Classica Citta di Padova, being two races in one, can keep us guessing right to the very end.


1° € 379,00
2° € 326,00
3° € 272,00
4° € 164,00
5° € 152,00
6° € 141,00
7° € 130,00
8° € 119,00
9° € 109,00
10° € 97,00
11° € 87,00                
12° € 76,00
13° € 66,00
14° € 53,00
15° € 42,00
16° € 28,00
17° € 28,00
18° € 28,00
19° € 28,00
20° € 28,00

Intermediate Sprint prizes (decided by accumulated points)

1° € 200,00              
2° € 150,00              
3° € 120,00
4° € 100,00
5° € 80,00

Start List

Not yet available


More information nearer to the race

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