In past years, before the pandemic, we used to close the Special Stages season with a traditional lunch, without planning particular tours as is the case for classic events.
This year however we wanted to create something different, less formal but more in line with the spirit of Special Stages and in fact the choice was to organize something that is closer to the Tours we do during the year with a nice party at end the day.
For this occasion we have chosen to hold the event on Saturday, in this rather hot November which today presents a more than perfect weather situation.
The meeting is in the early afternoon at the gates of Ivrea (TO). Nothing was planned, we simply chose a place with practical parking to then reach Bollengo.
In fact, after all the participants have arrived, it is from Bollengo that the guided section of this "short" Tour of about 100km begins immediately, which will take us to the Biella area and finish in Bielmonte.
The first part of the Tour takes place on La Serra on which we climb along the SP338 up to Mongrando (BI).
Despite the good weather, the road is a bit damp, which is normal given that we are still in the second half of November, but the road surface is perfect, thanks to the recent resurface of this entire stretch.
Once in Mongrando we turn towards Donato.
This section is fast with a rather wide seat, perhaps more than in the previous section and here too we find a surface in good condition. From Donato we then take the SP500 in the direction of Netro and then Occhieppo.
Here we find a little more traffic and the very winding road with continuous curves in succession makes it difficult to overtake when there are some cars, but the stretch is really beautiful and once again in good asphalt conditions.
From Occhieppo we reach Biella where we make a very brief stop to regroup the cars.
Setting off again we cross the center of Biella to head north on the SP100 which we however immediately leave to take the SP200 towards Pettinengo. In this first part you pass through numerous inhabited centers so you have to keep a calm pace, a situation that changes as you approach Valle Mosso.
Here we take a small detour that takes us north until we reach the Pistolesa bridge, one of the highest bridges in Italy from which bungee jumping has been practiced since the 1990s.
Once past the bridge we continue on the roads that were the scene of the fantastic Rally della Lana. A continuous succession of curves in a mixed route that from Veglio passes through Bianco, Callabiana to then descend to Andorno.
Let's go back onto the SP100 heading north until you find the junction for the SP115 and then the SP232, better known as Panoramica Zegna.
We have already ridden the Panoramica Zegna numerous times during the Special Stages events, but it always remains a highly appreciated road for its variety of slow and fast curves and which, climbing up to high altitude, offers those who travel it a spectacular panorama over the plain Padana.
The program envisaged arriving in Bielmonte by 17.00 in order to still travel the road in daylight.
After stopping in the panoramic square for a few photos and a chat, while waiting for dinner time we move on to the La Pineta hotel to have an aperitif or drink a chocolate since, even if the weather is beautiful, at almost 1500 meters Bielmonte the temperature is decidedly cool.
At 19.30 we finally reach the Al Maneggio restaurant where Giada, the owner, has opened especially for us. The restaurant, recently renovated, offers a spectacular view of the valleys below and the plain which now, in the dark of night, are a swarm of lights.
Inside Filippo has already put on the music that will accompany us throughout the evening and as soon as all the participants have arrived we start the excellent buffet that has been prepared with a great variety of tastings, the inevitable Biellese polenta concia and to close a great cake!
Having chosen a buffet instead of the traditional dinner served at the table makes the evening more dynamic and creating socialization among all those present who have shown us great approval.
If you happen to be in Bielmonte, we strongly advise you to come here to Al Maneggio for lunch or dinner, you will find a beautiful and characteristic restaurant in a suggestive and panoramic position and, above all, with excellent typical cuisine.
There couldn't have been a better closure for this 2022 season which struggled a bit to resume after 2 years almost stopped due to the pandemic, but we are confident that 2023 will bring great results!
We thank all the participants of this last event and of all those of the 2022 season, waiting to meet you again next year with lots of news!