The same passion, the same energy and the same spirit. As it awaits its return to the road after being put on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis, the 2020 Giro d’Italia has experimented a new all-digital sprint. From 18 April to 10 May, the first Giro d’Italia Virtual by Enel took place: a very special, innovative experience giving cycling fans from all over the world the chance to compete for the Pink Jersey alongside past and present legends, on the seven iconic stages of the 103th edition of the Corsa Rosa (“the Pink Race”).
The race’s first “remote” edition was also a solidarity challenge to support the Italian Red Cross: donations were accepted via the Rete del Dono online platform throughout the event. The resources raised will help fund many of the Red Cross’s crucial activities in the fight against the pandemic.
The Giro Virtual, which was organised by RCS Sport in partnership with Garmin Edge and Tacx, with Enel’s contribution as sponsor, garnered great participation from the general audience as well as cycling fans and icons.
The final stage of the race – the individual time trial from Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milan, held on 10 May – granted the first Virtual Pink Jersey to the Astana team. The time trial was won by Filippo Ganna (with the best individual time) and Jonathan Milan, who thus brought the stage’s victory to the Italian National team. The women’s Pink Race was won by the Trek team, followed by the Italian National team.
Over 10,000 cycling fans took part in the first Giro d’Italia Virtual by Enel. It was easy and free: all they had to do was sign up on the Garmin Virtual Ride website, where they created a profile and account to share their performance data, as required to compile the stage and final classifications.
The Giro d’Italia Virtual had all the same stage routes, elevation gains and fatigue as the real-life version: the winner was the first rider over the finish-line, with prizes awarded to top cyclists in all the special rankings.
Furthermore, each stage was live-streamed with pro riders and cycling legends to reveal what went on during the race, comment on performances, express opinions and hear some of the stories that, for over 100 years, have sparked infinite love for the Giro d’Italia and the Maglia Rosa (the Pink Jersey). Because rather than being about record speed, the whole spirit of this particular event is about feeling part of a community that shares the same love of cycling and the sport’s values: tenacity, effort and commitment.