the news of a big party in Gravina in Puglia

the news of a big party in Gravina in Puglia
the news of a big party in Gravina in Puglia

GRAVINA IN PUGLIA – A great Apulian celebration, in name and in fact… but also Lucana, given that the route of the 9th Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande touched the borders between Puglia and Basilicata with the winning seals of Nicola Pugliese among the Men ( Team Eracle Alberobello) and Ilenia Fulgido from Melfi (Ciclo Team Valnoce) among the girls.

And to say that the wait for the ninth edition of the mountain bike race under the large oaks of the Difesa Grande forest of Gravina in Puglia was really longer than usual, given that all the preparations last May came to an abrupt stop due to of the abundant rainfall that affected Puglia, like all of Italy, at the end of last spring. Nothing, however, that could have weakened the spirit of the Amicinbici Losacco Bike Team, thanks to the warm and renewed welcome of the Cantine Colli della Murgia, for the second year home to the departure and arrival logistics and the support of the Municipal Administration of Gravina, which from the first moment he believed in the potential of a now “classic” event in the Apulian calendar. The patronage of the Puglia Regional Council and the Alta Murgia National Park embellished the honor panel of the race, held under the aegis of the Italian Cycling Federation.

A warm sun, preceded by a mischievous wind that marks the prelude to a summer at the end welcomed the 300 participants in total (150 for the 45 km competitive run, 130 for the 32 km hiking and E-Bike ride) in an appointment for the fat wheels which for once was almost the swan song of an entire season rather than its prologue, as usual. The closeness of the municipal administration is palpable and much appreciated, with the mayor Dr. Fedele Lagreca, the councilor for Bosco Difesa Grande Dr. Marienza Schinco and the councilor for Sport Dr. Filippo Ferrante immediately supporting the organizers and they captured the true essence of the Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande: the indissoluble symbiosis between sport, tourism and nature, appreciating the intense logistical efforts of the Amicinbici Losacco Bike Team in the promotion and active defense of a unique territory.

THE RACE REPORT – Launching from Cantine Colli della Murgia, in the Zingarello district, not far from the former famous Jupiter missile base, a place of transit for history during the Cold War, the protagonists of the 9th Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande faced undergrowth never before so dry and dusty after a decidedly scorching summer. There are two challenge routes, the competitive one of 45 km and 650 meters of altitude difference and the non-competitive one of 32 km and 450 m of altitude difference (on the same distance also the race for E-Bikes, bicycles with electrically assisted pedaling and dedicated ranking) .

The ninth Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande brought the bikers back to the heart of the largest native forest reserve in Central Puglia, following paths explored several times during previous editions and appreciated for the view but also the numerous changes of pace in the shade of oaks and on climbs exposed to the wind and sun.

Of note is the challenging climb of the Jazzo “Staturo del Lepore” (0.9 km with final peaks at 18%) which led the peloton on one of the 8 evocative Jazzi of the Bosco, at km 14 of the race. It is there that the couple from Team Eracle, Paolo Colonna from Altamura and Nicola Pugliese from Alberobello managed to make a selection over the rest of the leading group, maintaining a margin of control which allowed for a parade finish in the shadow of the Cantina Colli of the Murgia. On the third step of the podium, 1’50” away, the very honorable Antonio Notarpietro, from New Bike Andria. For Pugliese, who crossed the finish line first, this is the second success in Gravina. One laurel for Colonna in the palmares.

The great celebration on the podium was completed with the awards ceremony for the individual categories by age group, which saw the following stand out:

ELITE WOMEN – Ilenia Matilde Fulgido (ASD Ciclo Team Valnoce)

ELITE MASTER SPORT (19-29 years) – Nicola Di Bari (individual)

MASTER 1 (30-34) – Giuseppe Grassi (Chialà Cycling Locorotondo)

MASTER 2 (35-39) – Nicola Pugliese (Team Eracle Alberobello)

MASTER 3 (40-44) – Antonio Notarpietro (New Bike Andria)

MASTER 4 (45-49) – Andrea Diomede (Team Bike Revolution Palo del Colle)

MASTER 5 (50-54) – Alessandro Fittipaldi (Team Bike Martina Franca)

MASTER 6 (55-59) – Domenico del Vecchio (All Bike Ruvo)

MASTER 8 (over 65) – Giuseppe Lisi (Team Eracle Alberobello)

MASTER WOMEN – Lucia Marseglia (ASD Grottaglie Bike)

MEN HIKERS – Nicola Salvatore Visci (ASD Amicinbici Losacco Bike)

WOMEN HIKERS – Mara Dininno (individual)

E-BIKE – Fulvio Daprile (Team Preview Sei Sport Putignano)

For everyone (not just the winners), a celebration at the finish line with a sip of Birra Pura and one or more bites of Gravinese focaccia!

THANKS – «The Bosco Difesa Grande is able to guarantee a different spectacle every year, whether it is experienced in winter, spring or at the end of summer it always offers priceless emotions – the Losacco brothers comment exhausted but happy – like those that you have given to us by participating as a group and taking up the challenge. After nine years we are not tired and, indeed, we are ready to relaunch. The Colli della Murgia location has proven to be perfect for hosting an event in style and next year, for the special anniversary edition, there will be many new features, right in this place. It wasn’t easy to hold on for so many months longer than expected, but we extend our sincere thanks to the entire municipal administration who supported us even in the most difficult moments and for the first time we organizers felt understood in our goals promote sport by actively defending our territory. And with them, a hug to the owners of Cantine Colli della Murgia, who in the midst of the development of their company accepted the challenge of welcoming 300 celebrating bikers. With them a sincere thank you to our sponsors, without whom all this would not have been possible: -Felicia, Italsud Carburanti, Fidelia Parquet, Lofrese Legumi, Grs Costruzioni, Panetteria Sorangelo and, Edilizia Cataldi.

So now, we won’t stop anymore. The tenth edition of the Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande is already in our heads and we are sure that it will be unmissable.”

THANKSGIVING FROM THE CITY OF GRAVINA – «From a place once dedicated to collecting wood to hard pedaling in the dust and under the sun. Of course in Bosco Difesa Grande you always have to work hard but this time with a smile. It was wonderful to see the Bosco transform into a real natural open-air stadium of this magnificent sporting discipline that is mountain biking – explains Dr. Marienza Schinco, councilor with responsibility for, among others, the Bosco Difesa Grande – L sporting activity, particularly that in the woods, offers the opportunity to experience nature in a complete way: it could be hiking in all its forms, or a bike race like “our” Mediofondo. Congratulations Amicinbici for having hit the mark and bringing so many enthusiasts to a treasure chest of beauty like Bosco Difesa Grande. Our Administration immediately understood what the Losacco brothers are made of, and their objectives match ours: through events and sport we wish to promote the territory to attract other people and generate new opportunities, not only economic, planning and implementing a series of external-oriented actions to attract a greater number of people to the area and convince them to “spend” their time here. These are the right strategies to enhance our precious Green Lung of our beloved Gravina and this is why, from now on, I’m giving you an appointment in 2024 for the tenth Mediofondo Bosco Difesa Grande”.

Echoes Dr. Filippo Ferrante, deputy mayor and sports councilor in the municipal administration led by the mayor dr. Fedele Lagreca: «Special thanks go to the Amicinbici Losacco Bike Team. The commitment and sacrifice made for the organization of this great event is a sign of love for our city and for sport and the vast audience of satisfied participants is proof of this. The promotion of sporting activity is at the center of our administrative action for the valorisation of special places in Gravino such as our forest. Thank you Emanuele, thank you Giuseppe and the whole ASD Team Amicinbici Losacco Bike family for accepting this challenge and not stopping at the difficulties that the weather put in front of you. You have done an impeccable job and there is still a long way to go!

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