Two world champions, two former teammates, two friends: Paolo Bettini and Johan Museeuw will meet again on 1 and 2 June in Pomarance (PI), for the second edition of GeoGravel Tuscany.
Museeuw was one of the greatest specialists of the Classics of the North: he won three Paris-Roubaix and as many Tours of Flanders, so much so that he earned the nickname 'Lion of Flanders'.
He was the emblem of Flemish cycling, but Italy always remained in his heart, also because of the five years he rode on the Mapei team, with which he won some of his most important successes.
It was precisely at Mapei and then at Quick-Step that he was a teammate of Paolo Bettini. As the Grillo himself recounts:
"In 2000 I was still a young rider, I had done all the normal training as a domestique, but that year at Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the first time I started off as captain. By my side that day was also Johan, who was already a legendary icon. I remember that at one point, when the race was getting into full swing, I left the front to go to the team car so as to return my jacket and arm warmers. Johan saw me and told me that I was the captain that day and the only thing I had to think about was to be up front. He collected my stuff and took it to the team car. That gesture made by a champion of that calibre gave me incredible self-confidence and trust, so much so that in the end I did win - it was my first big victory as a professional. A day that in any ways changed my life."
Ever since their friendship has never stopped, and at the beginning of June we will find them together again, no longer on the cobblestones of the North but on the Strade Grigie of Tuscany.
Johan Museeuw will be the guest of honour at the second edition of GeoGravel Tuscany, the event dedicated to gravel created by Bettini in the magical territory of geothermal energy, on the home roads.
All those who will be in Pomarance on 1 and 2 June will be able to experience the thrill of cycling in the company of two extraordinary riders, two world champions and multiple winners of monument classics.
GeoGravel Tuscany is more than a two-day sporting event, it is a true gravel festival to discover the Colline Metallifere and the Tuscan Geothermia.
The event will begin in the afternoon of Saturday 1 June with the opening of the GeoVillage at the 'Piazzone', a beautiful space close to the centre of Pomarance that will host the GeoFestival, the beating heart of the entire event, where the evening concerts will take place and local food and wine stands and dedicated shops will be set up.
The various rides scheduled for Saturday 1 June (Ultra route) and Sunday 2 June (Long, Medium and Short routes) will also start from there.