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IRONTOUR CROSS 2021 - Elba

Published : 2021-12-08 21:21:08
Categories : Races , Sport Destinations

THE PARADISE OF THE OFF-ROAD TRIATHLON

For the uninitiated, within the world of world triathlon, there is a slice of triathletes who participate and compare themselves in the so-called "off-road" races. There are all kinds, both internationally, with the well-known brand XTerra, and nationally. To name a few in this, in 2021, we saw the Sestri Levante race taking place, which hosted the Italian triathlon cross championships and the newly born Sardegna Xries-X, but we can also mention the past editions of the TriWeek of Lavarone and the races that were linked in the past to the T-Natura brand. But now, let's turn the spotlight on the event that is the protagonist of this article, in which I participated with immense joy, the Iron Tour Cross! This event is not limited only to being the first appointment of the season. It is a real tour of competitions that took place for five consecutive days with a wonderful, one-of-a-kind format. The location chosen by many editions is now "La Perla" of Tuscany, Elba Island, the perfect natural setting for this event. In fact, the crystal clear sea and paths immersed in the scents and colors of the Mediterranean shrubbery and unique landscapes have accompanied the athletes along this fantastic adventure!

Thanks to the incredible organizational effort of Spartacus Event of the Lecco Triathlon, under the expert guidance of Renzo Straniero, who splendidly directed all his fantastic team. They staged an unforgettable edition and a wonderful experience that I lived with my wife Martina, full of emotions that made me have fun and excitement. The premise was a must, we are now in November, the racing season has come to an end, but I still have before my eyes the colors of that wonderful sea, the scents of the island and the emotions of fatigue and the finish lines conquered.

As we said, there were 5 competition days.

The main event to design the 1st stage on an Olympic distance adapted for triathlon cross (1000 mt swimming, 25 km mtb and 8 km running), starting from the beautiful beach of Pareti, where the transition area has been set up. A day with perfect weather, crystal clear sea and the dusty paths of Monte Calamita waiting for us, with water at about 17/18 °C, which for April is not bad since we swam with a wetsuit. The mtb track was varied and fun, alternating technical and demanding sections at very fast paces to discover the abandoned mines, now aged for some time and incorporated by the Elban nature. Even running on the single tracks of the route, we could appreciate an incredible variety of stones and rocks under our feet. In short, an alternation between a natural park and an open-air museum! To reach the finish, I extend the final stretch on golden sand under the finish line.

A national ranked competition where some of the best international triathletes of the triathlon cross scene have challenged each other! To name a few: Eleonora Peroncini, specialty world champion 2019, Riccardo Ridolfi Italian champion 2019, Sandra Mairhofer European champion 2021, Federico Spinazzènewly graduated 2021 world champion, Filippo Barazzuol, Marta Menditto and Maxim Chanè, the French champion who dominated the whole tour.

The days went by almost without realizing it and the fact that after one race, we would have had to prepare for another the next day, seemed to be normal right from the start, a matter of course. The following four days, it was the sprint distance (750 mt swimming, 15 km mtb and 5 km running) that dictated the rules, one overrun a day for the following four days, a battle with a knife in the teeth to save energy and is required by the regulation. A more beautiful setting than the other, a different location every day that led us to visit all the exhibitions on the Capoliveri peninsula.

In sequence, there was the 2nd stage, departing from the splendid white sand beach of Lido di Capoliveri, a route characterized by a demanding bike climb facing Capo Norsi and the characteristic passage in the military tunnels that lead from the beach to the discovery of hidden rocky coves. The 3rd stage, with the transition area overlooking the sea of ​​Porto Azzurro, was an incredibly windy stage, where the waves and the decidedly cold water temperatures put the athletes to the test in the swimming stage.

The mtb track was very fast and fun, while the race was characterized by a nice steep path formed by a beautiful series of rocky stairs, all immersed in a cactus park with the fantastic passage through the beach of Red Beard, where I like to think the famous Pirate passed. The strong wind did not abandon us, transforming the 4th stage into a duathlon starting on foot in rolling start. Certainly, the most out-of-revs race of all, Lacona, is an incredible place for mtb and racing. It was a great fun, too, without the first fraction!

To finish the 5th stage, the transition area was directly on the beach of Naregno, with a clear sea and beautiful waves to accompany us. We exit from T1, with the bike on the shoulder, up a staircase, then away under a beautiful path in the shade of maritime pines up to the top of Monte Calamita, opposite of the first stage. The T2 and the race developed on the upper part of the peninsula, through the alienating landscape of the mining area, an alternation of red soil, where it seemed to have landed on Mars, with green corners rich in the typical scents of Elban spring.

In short, a dream sports holiday, an amazing seasonal warmup and an ideal place to bring your family and friends, whether they are athletes or your fans! Top-level food and location, and a family welcome from both the organization and the locals. I would also like to mention how much this island is a magical place, where special and unexpected friendships can be born, such as the one born between us and Ilaria & Enrico's family! An event not to be missed, that we at Tri Fun Fit definitely recommend! Gabriele - Tri Fun Fit Team

Gabriele - Tri Fun Fit Team

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