The third edition of Giro-E, the only e-bike gran fondo stage race in the world, has started and is racing alongside its professional pedal-powered brother – Giro d’Italia.

From Etna to Sestriere 4-25 October on the same route as the Giro d’Italia, seven amateur e-cycling teams are riding over 1500km and 25,000m vertical to discover what it is like to ride a grand tour: signing in at start, riding through throngs of cheering fans, crossing under the 1km to go red kite banner and standing on the Corsa Rosa podium of champions.

Seven teams are participating: TOYOTA, RCS SPORT-JGMF EU-PHARMA, BANCA MEDIOLANUM, FONDAZIONE SCARPONI, ENIT-AGENZIA NAZIONALE TURISMO, VALSIR and FLY CYCLING TEAM.  Among the team captains are ex-pro cyclists Gilberto Simoni and Roberto Ferrari.

Although not as quite as competitive as the Giro d’Italia, leaders jerseys are awarded for each stage based on points and are worn the following day by the team captain. Jersey’s include the Maglia Rossa for the leader of the Sprint at the finish, the Maglia Nera for the Master Classification (the sum of the age of the participants) and the Maglia Viola for Team General Classification.

Giro-E Stage 2 on Monday followed the Giro d’Italia pro peloton 89km to the top of Sicily’s world famous Mount Etna volcano, where the e-racers were glad to have a little extra battery assistance on the 18km long climb at 7%.

At the summit team ENIT-AGENZIA NAZIONALE TURISMO held onto the Maglia Viola jersey, but only holds a one point lead over RCS SPORT-JGMF EU-PHARMA with TOYOTA trailing by seven points.

The organizer, RCS Sport, says electrically-assisted bikes from Bianchi (official bike of Giro-E), Trek, De Rosa, Look and others allow “Giro-E amateur cyclists with a minimum of training to experience the emotions and routes reserved for the pro riders, fighting to get on the podium of the Giro d’Italia.”

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