Day 1 of practice is wrapped up here in Finale Ligure, the weather was overcast with high winds and the forecast is for it to deteriorate further tomorrow meaning that practice has been called off. The race organizers as a result took the decision to allow practice on all 6 stages today. The riders have mixed feelings about the stages here in Finale, the after practice thoughts of 7 racers can be found below!

Martin Maes


“Actually not the best we have ever had, nah it was really pedally and not as good as they used to be so of course I’m a bit disappointed because you know it’s an amazing place, it’s Finale Ligure it’s so popular for riding and for me it’s not as good as I expected. I talked with a few riders and they are not really happy as well, so yeah a bit disappointed but it’s the same for everyone and we will try to do the best race we can on Saturday and Sunday.”

Anka Martin


“Practice was a pretty big day, there’s talk of this massive storm rolling in so I think everyone was pretty anxious to get at least one run on all the stages today encase tomorrow we’re not allowed to ride. So a bit frantic, a bit rushed but super fun you know it’s Finale the tracks are always pretty fun and they seem to be quite a lot more physical this year so going to have to get my pedalling legs ready for Saturday and Sunday and combined with the big liaisons its going to be a really tough and physical day but you know that’s why we do these races because it’s a challenge.”

Caro Gehrig


“Yeah it was quite a stressful day of practice we had to practice all the stages today as tomorrow might be cancelled. So far so good, loads of climbing in the stages which I kind of don’t really like but maybe plays to my strengths. Stage 4 was a little disappointing, last year it was one of my favourites but this year it’s so loose with almost no traction, it’s pretty crazy but we’ll see how it’s going to be on race day”

Jerome Clementz


“Really good, was a good start it was quite dry this morning we start with the seaside and it was windy so not easy to stay on your line but after we went in the woods and it was much better. I think so far my favourite is stage 1, it’s really cool, it’s steep and technical. On the other side there are 2 really physical stages which are going to be really hard, especially because stage 6 is right at the end of the 2nd day after 100km of riding so we will have to save energy.”

Greg Williamson


“It was tough for me because I only got here today, I got here about midday and grabbed my bike and rode just 3 and 4 so I better do 1 and 2 and then 5 and 6 might be blind, I might try and walk them, so yeah not ideal but we’ll give it a go.”

Marcus Klausmann


“Stage 1 is probably one of the nicest stages, real downhill with a lot of switchbacks and I liked that, it’s not too long and then in stage 2 it’s a real cross country track and is probably the hardest stage of the weekend, a real hard uphill with a lot of rocks and a lot of turns and not easy to remember it and get a rhythm on it.”

Nico Lau


“Day 1 of practice and we definitely enjoy our day riding, some surprises here in Finale. We didn’t expect the stages to be so physical, it’s a rough area, a rocky area and we still had some flowy, flat pedally stages and it’s a bit of strange choice of the organisers to do that but at the end it’s going to be a good challenge to cross the finish line and we are going to give the best at the race, pedalling hard and handling the bike as good as possible on the technical sections.”

Words and Photos: Ross Bell

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