A journey through Maremma, a cycling experience, a dive into the world of gravel biking; Grinduro in Punta Ala ignited the challenge and put the movement in the spotlight    

With a format imported from the United States, where Grinduro is a highly successful event with a large participation, the bet for 2023 was to bring this concept to Italy. This challenge, already experienced by Punta Ala in 2010 with the discipline of mountain bike enduro, involved both the organizers and the Italian entusiasts.

The wait for this first edition of Grinduro Italy included the desire to discover the event, understand its philosophy, and finally test the route through Maremma designed for the occasion.

During the weekend, this waiting was well rewarded by the approximately 150 participants who embraced this adventure in Punta Ala. Among the competitors were many industry professionals, journalists, influencers, and athletes, all curious to personally experience this event and share their impressions about the first edition. 15 countries were represented, with a significant participation of foreign participants (40% of the total).

The atmosphere at the event was one of fun and a desire to be together among friends, spending a long day cycling together, recalling the versatile and interdisciplinary spirit of gravel bikes. Between enjoying ice cream, getting a haircut, having an aperitif, or getting a tattoo by the seaside, all of it was live-commentated by the tireless Veronica Bellandi Bulgari of Radio Toscana.

To welcome everyone in this purple movement, the event’s partner companies, including Wilier, Shimano, Schwalbe, Evoc, Giro, and Wahoo, showcased their products and enriched the Event Village, contributing to stimulating discussions on various topics, including technical aspects, which were always very interesting and appreciated.

The gravel movement is growing strongly in Italy as well, and we love the inclusive format of the event and the bikes used. Supporting Grinduro here in Punta Ala was a shared and appreciated choice by everyone at Shimano” said Marco Cittadini, Communication & Sport Marketing – Shimano Italia.

PuntAla Camp & Resort proved to be the ideal location for the “Maxin’ and Relaxin'” approach, as the event’s slogan suggests. A 4-star camping site dedicated to the outdoors, with a beach overlooking the Isola d’Elba, provided perfect hospitality. Meanwhile, the unique and picturesque course was able to entertain everyone, while also challenging even the most seasoned cyclists. As many expected, the stopwatch on the 4 special stages ignited many challenges; after all, the competitive spirit has deep roots in our Latin cycling nature.

Speaking of results, the fastest on the 4 special stages and winner of the first Grinduro Italia was Italian Marco Aurelio Fontana, while among the women, Australian Darcie Richards stood on the highest step of the podium, awarded alongside Swiss rider Uwe Trummer for holding the best time on PS3, the most complete and guided special stage. For some, the most selective special stage was the tough climb of PS1, for others, the long and fast descent of PS2, and for yet others, the technical PS3. One thing we all understood is that the Grinduro format seeks those conditions where no participant or bike can make a difference, resulting in variability and guaranteed riding enjoyment.

The adventure through the country roads and single tracks in the woods was featured by some great feedzones. Special mention goes to the one on the panoramic terrace of Morisfarms, with porchetta and good wine, as well as the one at the top of Monte Arsenti, after the technical climb of Spaghetti Trail, generously provided by Bike Service Massa Marittima.

Everything was very beautiful, BELLISSIMO” was the most common comment along with big smiles. Undoubtedly, there are still some details to refine, but this first edition of Grinduro Italy, managed by PuntAla Camp & Resort and Punta Ala Trail Center, highlighted the full potential of the event and the format, and already thoughts are turning to how to improve for the 2024 edition.

For more info: www.grinduro.com/italy