The Rivolto Air Base will host a start of a stage of the 2020 Giro d'Italia, organisers announced on Tuesday. The start will honour the 60th anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori, an aerobatic squad also known as the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale.
The Frecce Tricolori have twice decorated the Giro d'Italia with their aerobatic feats - first in 2009 when the race used a landing strip on the Rivolto base and again in 2014 when the race finished in Trieste, but Friuli Venezia Giulia is a frequent host of the race, with the Monte Zoncolan a notable oft-used feature in the region.
RCS Sport CEO Paolo Bellino hopes the visual impact of the air show will help to expand the race's audience. "Next year we will have almost 200 television stations broadcasting to the five continents, enabling us to reach a potential audience of over 800 million people. High quality images will focus both on the race as well as on the landscape, and on artistic and cultural excellences of Italy, excellences such as the Aeronautica Militare and the Frecce Tricolori," Bellino said in a press release.
The race director Mauro Vegni recalled the previous visits of the Frecce Tricolori to the Giro fondly. "I still remember the acrobatics over our heads and the Tricolore in 2009, when we rode through the landing ground of this airport, and in 2014 when the Frecce Tricolori coloured the Giro grand finale in Trieste.
"We have a long and strong relation with the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a relationship made even stronger in recent years with landmark stages such as last year's victory for Chris Froome on the Zoncolan and the spectacular final stage in Trieste in 2014. Organising this stage start, unique in history, shows that the synergy between the Corsa Rosa, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Aeronautica Militare and all the other legal institutions involved is once again winning."
Col. Andrea Amadori, Commander 2nd Squadron, looks forward to host the race. "2020 will be an important year for the Aeronautica Militare. Here in Rivolto we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the acrobatic squad of the Frecce Tricolori and we will open the airport to all the flight aficionados.
"These kind of important collaborations alongside important partners such as Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia and RCS Group allow Aeronautica Militare to let the community know the important everyday work we do with humility, and will enable us to demonstrate our sense of duty to our country."