XXXIX International Bicycle Touring Week by the Sea
The International Bicycle Touring Week by the Sea is a sports event that has been held in Gabicce Mare for no fewer than twenty-two years, making it one of Italy's most important tourist events for lovers of bicycle riding. The event is also a fixture on the calendar of the International Bicycling Union. Almost a thousand riders take part, accompanied by family members and friends.
The participants, who arrive from all over Italy and Europe, meet each year in Gabicce Mare to ride together on the area's most charming roads, passing through and visiting the loveliest towns and villages of the inland portion of the Marche region.
The Bicycle Touring Week is traditionally given a police escort of motorcycle highway patrolmen from start to finish, and its overall organizational approach is patterned on that of the "Giro d'Italia" professional bicycle race. Every morning the riders meet in front of the "Palazzo del Turismo" (Tourist Center), with departure scheduled for 9:00 am; along every leg, the Mayor of the town or village hosting the day's ride welcomes the touring cyclists and offers refreshments. The daily return to Gabicce Mare is scheduled for roughly 1:30 pm.
During the Bicycle Touring Week, various festivities will be organized for the participants, their family members and for all vacationing tourists, featuring evenings rich in music, dancing and the tasting of local traditional products. As usual, coverage from television and specialized periodicals will guarantee attention and publicity. For the 8th year in a row the event is being sponsored by the daily sports newspaper "Gazzetta dello Sport".
Participating organizations include Mic Shimano, Selle Italia and Mapei. Every year Mapei guarantees the presence of a major professional bicycle racer for one evening during the Bicycle Touring Week : the special guest for the 18th year of the event was Andrea Tafi, while Rinaldo Nocentini appeared in 1999, Nicola Chisini in 2000, Franco Ballerini in 2001, and Luca Shinto and Gian Paolo Cheula in 2002. The week gets underway on April 19th, with an organized welcome in the evening, and it concludes at 8:30 pm on Friday 25th April at the "Cinema Teatro Astra" in Gabicce Mare with the presentation of awards to the individual cycle-touring associations.
Following the awards ceremony, the "International Week" will continue with a delightful cycle-touring ride on Saturday 26th, pause and refreshments in Mombaroccio. At the end of the return trip, the 5 most numerous societies will receive a fine prize.