Boosting an ever-growing Cyclocross movement in Italy and promotiong sustainable tourism: these are the main goals of the European Championships in Silvelle
The UEC European Cyclo-cross Championships in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Italy) on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November are much more than just a sport event for Italian cyclocross. A process of rediscovery of the discipline has started in Italy several years ago, bringing the national movement closer to the top ones in terms of figures and adhesions. In this sense, the organization of an event of the importance of a European Championship – taken on by a long-tenured organizing company like the “Silvellese” – represents a further step forward.
Youngsters are starting to discover cyclo-cross, enticed to its more pronounced playful component compared to other specialties. Last weekend, the Giro d’Italia cyclo-cross rounds in Jesolo and Osoppo recorded about 800 entries, while for the Italian Championship in Schio already boast more than 1000 registered riders. Regional circuits are being organized in different areas of Italy to give youngsters the chance to get involved with cyclocross, following the model of historical races like Silvelle.
Belgium and the Netherlands are a hard comparison to take, both in terms of numbers and media coverage, indeed, cyclo-cross is a national sport in the Benelux Countries, but it is significant that Silvelle’s European Championships has set a new record of registrations for master competitions (400 participants). “To make this record in an Italian events shows how many cyclocross passionates can be found in our Country, and also the feeling that foreign Masters have toward Italy,” explained Paolo Garniga, Chairman of the Off-Road Commission for the Italian Cycling Federation.
Silvelle had a crucial role in the growth of this specialty, organizing international events since 1979. “A European Championship here in Silvelle can only be a further boost to the growth of the discipline – Garniga continued. “Getting to watch the likes of Mathieu Van der Poel in action is something extraordinary. Cyclo-cross is pure adrenaline: kids enjoy wallowing in the mud and are not exposed to the risks of the road when it rains. I believe this weekend is set to remain in the memory of people for a long time.”
Multidisciplinarity is another trending topic in today’s cycling. From Peter Sagan to Matteo Trentin, passing through cyclo-cross star Mathieu Van der Poel: all those riders have broken out on the road also thanks to the technical skills assimilated on mud and meadows. “Cyclo-cross is no longer just a complementary activity, but a specialty that technically gives a lot, also for a future on the road– Garniga concludes – It is a real gym, because the skills you acquire as a child in the off-road bicycle remain for life”.
However, the European Championships in Silvelle also look at the promotion of sustainable tourism as a key strategical mission. Silvelle di Trebaseleghe enjoys a strategic position, within striking distance of historical and charming venues like Padua, Venice,Treviso and Asolo. In addition, off-road cycling fans will be able to discover the rural Veneto, ready to unveil scenery of unexpected beauty, to be visited using the long cycle paths in the area.
Many local realities have believed in the “Silvelle ’19” project, side by side with other important companies from the cycling branch and beyond – starting with Belgian insurance company AG Insurance and W&P Cementi, Italian cement and binder company. Giving important contributions to the event are companies like Lavor Metal (metal working) from Padua, Kemichal (a company from Trebaseleghe that has been producing paints and dyes for wood for over 50 years), Arredo3 (a kitchen company from Scorzè), Everest (textile treatments for the fashion sector), S2 Truck Service (a company specialized in concrete from Treviso), but also by brands with a long history in the world of cycling such as Mapei and Selle Italia. Featuring among the official suppliers are also Ricola (candies and herbal teas), Ponte (wines) and San Benedetto (mineral water), as well as Grafica Veneta and Jonny Mole.