Barbara Mazzali, Councillor for Tourism, Territorial Marketing and Fashion at Regione Lombardia: “Il Lombardia is an exceptional showcase for our Region with 200 countries connected and an audience of 17.5 million viewers globally. This will be a major driver for tourism and cycling tourism. Moreover, out of 20,000 kilometers of Italian cycle paths, 4,000 are in Lombardia, a region that is becoming a ‘cult destination’ for both national and international cycle tourism. The ‘Lombardia Express’ project, developed by the Region and RCS Sport, is along these lines. With digital storytelling, through video and social participation, our extraordinary ambassador, Antonio Rossi, will show the world the territories, traditions, and culture of Lombardia. Starting from the Como-Bergamo race route, he will continue his journey of discovery through the most beautiful areas of our Region, showing new visitors the richness of our cultural heritage, our landscapes, and our food and wine tradition. There are 4000 km of cycle paths in Lombardia, with routes that lead from our mountains to our lakes. Bicycle routes that lead to the discovery of historical monuments, excellent craftsmanship, curious facts, and specialties of traditional cuisine. I am thinking of the Sentiero Valtellina, the Mincio cycle path, or the ‘suspended’ one on Lake Garda and the Green Way in Oltrepò Pavese, to name but a few. I will not only lend my face, but my legs as well to this fascinating project, because I will participate in the awareness-raising ride planned for 7 October in the Bergamo area with a strong and clear message: cycle tourism is good for everyone, it is good for your health and it is also good for the territory because it can generate an economic value for the entire community. The last edition of Il Lombardia generated an economic impact of 50 million euros on the territory it crossed. The challenge for our region is to continue to expand the range of cycling tourism, to include cycle-touring and any experience on ‘two wheels’, an extraordinary territorial marketing tool”.
Paolo Bellino, Managing Director at RCS Sport: “The relationship between RCS Sport and Regione Lombardia continues, welcoming us once again for a weekend of great cycling with the last Monument Classic of the year, followed by an important event such as the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia. With Como and Bergamo alternating as hosts, this year’s race will start in the city of Como and finish in the city of Bergamo, and we expect important figures in terms of public attendance, increasingly confirming how this sport is the perfect driver for tourism, which benefits and promotes all the places it touches”.
Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia: “We have designed a tough and selective route, with over 4400 meters of altitude gain, pretty similar to the 2021 edition in which Tadej Pogacar won for the first time. The Slovene will be one of the stars at the start and he will be looking to make it a hat-trick, which will be made difficult by the presence of prominent rivals Giro d’Italia winner Primoz Roglic and former World Champion Remco Evenepoel among the expected names. We are also pleased that a great champion and former winner of the race like Thibaut Pinot has chosen Il Lombardia to say goodbye to the fans”.
Lara Magoni, Undersecretary with responsibility for Sport and Youths of Regione Lombardia: “Sport is once again protagonist with Il Lombardia. For more than a century, the greatest champions of cycling have been giving us strong emotions thanks to this historic competition, highlighting the most evocative routes of our territory. Cycling is a sport full of values, reminding us of the sense of hard work, sacrifice, and the importance of the team to achieve results. Il Lombardia will therefore be the ideal opportunity to bring our young people closer to sport with positive examples”.
Damiano Cunego, Il Lombardia winner in 2004, 2007 e 2008: “Il Lombardia has always been a great goal for me. I have managed to win it three times, entering the history of this race. Like every year we will see a list of very strong riders at the start of the toughest Monument Classic of the year, both classic specialists and climbers, because the course is as always very tough and selective. My favorite for victory is Tadej Pogacar because he is a rider who when he concentrates on a goal always arrives in top condition and could achieve his third victory matching my score”.
Vincenzo Nibali, Il Lombardia winner in 2015, 2017: “The two editions of Il Lombardia that I won were finishing in Como, it was a slightly different route to this edition but no less tough. There are many climbs in the final part, including the final one in Bergamo Alta which, with more than 230km already in the legs, could be decisive. I see Remco Evenepoel as the main favorite because I believe he has the right characteristics for this route”.
Alessandro Rapinese, Mayor of Como: “Il Lombardia is one of the five Monument Classics, a fundamental race for world cycling and, personally, I think it is the most fascinating. As a Lombard citizen, I can only be happy that the tradition continues and that our institutions, the municipalities and the Region, are working together to make it ever more fascinating and exciting. Long live ‘Il Lombardia’ and long live Lombardia”.
Loredana Poli, Councilor for Sport of the Municipality of Bergamo: “We have conceived the year 2023 in which Bergamo is the Italian Capital of Culture not only as a great calendar of artistic and cultural events but also as a year in which to shine a spotlight on the city, also through major sporting events and popular appointments capable of bringing attention to our territory. Cycling is one of these: and if the Giro d’Italia stage was an extraordinary event for the city, Il Lombardia is a great confirmation. First and foremost, I am proud to say that in all the 10 years that I have held the position of councilor for sport, this great classic, the last one of the season, has never been missing from our city. And for 2023, our special year, Bergamo has been confirmed as the finish of the race, featuring the Boccola, Colle Aperto, the Walls, and the finish line in the Centro Piacentiniano. I want to thank all those who have worked to achieve this important result for our city, as well as RCS for renewing their trust in Bergamo and Como, now a traditional setting for Il Lombardia”.
Marco Briata, Head of Private and Digital Marketing at Crédit Agricole: “For Crédit Agricole, cycling is a sport that is emblematic of innovation and sustainability, values that represent some of the founding pillars of the Group’s strategy in stimulating the country’s growth. Il Lombardia is an opportunity with which we wish to enhance an area that is important for us, through an inclusive initiative capable of involving a wide audience”.