Corsica Classica 2015
Warm on the wheels of the Tour de France 2013 Grand Départ from Corsica Bernard Hinault has been here to join the presentation of a new UCI one day race, Corsica Classica. The inaugural edition of the race will take place on thursday 26 March 2015 shoehorned into a busy racing calendar presumably post Milan - San Remo and pre Paris - Roubaix.
Pro bike racing is not new to the island - the Criterium International has been running here since 2010, the Tour came for the first time in 2013 and the Tour de Corse ran as a pro race between 1971-1987 which incidentally, Hinault won in 1982.
The race will depart Ajaccio and finish in Bastia. It's a 204km route and takes in two categorised climbs: after 53km, the Col de Vizzavona at 1,163m (12.5km at an average gradient of 4.1%) and after 76km, the Col de Bellagranajo at 723m. The first 84km of the race is the reverse of the 2013 Tour de France stage 2. At Corte the route turns for Aleria on the east coast and then north for a flat run into the finish in the centre of Bastia.
The aim of this event is to build on the success of the three days the Tour raced here in 2013. Visitor numbers this summer are down on last year although anecdotally I see more cyclists than previously. The route is not fixed and will vary year to year. Given the timing you can expect to see snow on the peaks and quite possibly surrounding the col at Vizzavona. Whether or not we can expect the race to become an established classic, as the name suggests, only time will tell.
© M.Lund 2013-19