By Gregor Brown
The week of the Italian national championships, La Settimana Tricolore, has been scheduled for June 26 to July 1. The locations will vary, from Novi Ligure (Piemonte) to home of navigator Cristoforo Colombo, Genova (Liguria).
The week is a highlight for any Italian racer who hopes to vie for the maglia tricolore, the national championship jersey in red, white and green. Last year the elite men's road title went to Paolo Bettini, who no longer gets to wear the jersey because he took the rainbow jersey in the world championships three months later.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the racing starts on June 26 in Novi Ligure with all five time trials (42.8 km for the elite men). The day after, in Diano Marina, will be the scene of the elite "without contracts" championship (163 km). The women will contest their road races in Varazze, 28, which is appropriately known as la città delle donne (city of women). The juniors will race 71.8 kilometres and the elite will race 113.7.
Friday in Bolano, June 29, will the juniors will have their road race (120 km), Saturday the under-23 in Lavagna (163.5 km) and the grand finale, the men's road race, on Sunday in Genova. On July 1, the elite men will contest a 262 kilometre race; including a city circuit parcours of 15 km, with two serious ascents, to be repeated 10 times. Tune in to see if Bettini will try again for the maglia tricolore.