The 2018 Giro d’Italia arrives in Piedmont with a series of climbs that have gone down in cycling lore: the Sestriere made famous by “champion of champions” Fausto Coppi, Eddy “the Cannibal” Merckx’s Jafferau mountain and the legendary Colle delle Finestre pass, first tackled only in 2005 but which has already earned heroic status because of its nine torturous kilometres of dirt road. “13 years ago that hill handed me the Giro d’Italia,” smiles Paolo Savoldelli, “and I remember saying at the end of the race that I’d cut 10 years off my life. I really hope that’s not true.”
Stage 19 starts from a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Venaria Reale, the hunting lodge of the Savoy Royal Family on the outskirts of Turin, which Enel X helped to light more efficiently and dramatically.
Not far away are the headquarters of Astelav, the company we selected with the Fondazione Symbola as one of the 100 Circular Economy stories. In the domestic appliance spare parts business since 1963, it developed Ri-generation, a project that gives a new lease of life to decommissioned appliances, reducing costs and waste in one fell swoop.
Leaving the Savoy demesne in their wake, the Giro d’Italia riders will tackle their first climb at the Colle del Lys (where there is a monument to the 26 partisans who were slaughtered there by the Nazis in 1944), and then enter the Val di Susa, through which Julius Cesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon Bonaparte and, of course, the Tour de France have all passed. The pack then continues on to the natural amphitheatre of Bardonecchia, which is surrounded by 3,000-metre-plus peaks that have often proved pivotal in deciding the winner of the Pink Jersey. The finish is at the Jafferau dam, one of 29 large dams managed by Enel Green Power in Piedmont which, together with a hundred or so hydroelectric stations, provide the Region with sustainable energy.