Passion, heart, fatigue, teamwork, as well as non-stop research and innovation-centred preparation. That’s the recipe for success in sport. It’s how the Giro d’Italia is won. Together with the Tour de France and Spain’s La Vuelta, the pro road race makes up the Grand Tour. Winning any one of the aforementioned competitions is every cyclist’s dream. Winning all three in less than 12 months brings legendary status.
But that is exactly what British cyclist Chris Froome did. He won the Tour de France (for the fourth time) and La Vuelta between July and September 2017. Then he followed up that achievement on 27 May in Rome by taking the Pink Jersey, which has been sponsored by Enel for the last three years, in the final stage of the 101st Giro d’Italia.
Pink for tradition and sustainability
The Group’s decision to promote and link its brand to the Pink Jersey was deliberate, stemming from the fact that it shares all the values that the jersey has embodied for over a century: determination, dedication, technique, tradition and innovation, a deep connection with the local area, respect for the landscape and the Earth. Sustainability in the broadest sense of the term, in a nutshell.
“The Giro d’Italia is a moment of passion, excellence, energy and determination. These are also the Enel Group’s values”
– Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Cycling is sustainable mobility at its best: the bicycle is a sustainable means of transport by definition. It produces zero emissions and it brings people into contact both with the countryside and with nature. Cycling is also a sport in which all the members of the team – lead and support riders alike – work together to reach the finish line in a constant race against time and uneven roads, endlessly pushing themselves to overcome their own limits.
Then there is the kind of sustainability achieved through defining a new business model like the one outlined in our strategic plan. A model that melds industrial, environmental, social and governance objectives to generate energy by developing technological solutions designed to be increasingly in harmony with the environment, the Planet, communities and people.
An objective that demands collaboration, commitment, passion and energy from everyone.
“All energies are important for achieving this goal. Energy is not something created by individuals but by a team. You will only win by working together as a team. And that is true in the energy business too”
– Giulio Fazio, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Enel
The “E” bringing sustainability to the Giro d’Italia
“This year, e-Bikes made their debut appearance in the Giro d’Italia in a very special demonstration of the effects of how technology is evolving,” explained Starace, who attended the final Rome city circuit stage of the Giro 101 both as an avid cycling fan and to present the prize to the winner. Aside from the Pink Jersey, however, Enel was also sponsoring the Giro E through Enel X. This competition saw cyclists on electric bikes completing all the Italian stages of the Giro which started this year from Jerusalem in Israel.
“The Giro E is a fantastic initiative sponsored by Enel X and we are also hoping to bring it to the rest of the world soon. It is a way both of allowing everyone to tackle their own limits and to do sport”
– Giulio Fazio, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Enel
The Giro E was competed over 18 stages, starting in Catania, Sicily, and ending in Rome. It made its way across the country in which our company was founded and put down roots, where it developed and continues to develop innovative energy technologies – everything from grids to renewables – which it also now shares with 35 nations across the world.
An initiative through which we reiterate our company’s commitment to sustainable mobility, both two- and four-wheeled (through e-cars). The Group is also travelling across Italy from North to South, all the way to the Islands, by working to create one of the largest and most widespread charging networks for electric vehicles. It’s a way of putting sustainable transport within the reach of everyone and developing leading-edge technologies in a sector that represents the future of mobility.
The Pink Jersey’s perfect balance
The winner of the Giro d’Italia 2018, Chris Froome, took the Pink Jersey thanks to extraordinary teamwork that involved long-term planning and preparation. Although he started out as one of the favourites, Froome did have some setbacks to overcome in the course of the race, including a fall in the first stage that saw him drop well behind his main rivals, fellow Brit Simon Yates and Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin. Then, in Friuli, he took victory on the Zoncolan, a peak in the Carnic Alps that is one of the most gruelling and feared climbs in cycling, and he completely dominated the penultimate of the climbs between Italy and France in a spectacular solo ride that, in many minds, was reminiscent of cycling legend Fausto Coppi’s historic feat of almost 60 years ago.
It was there that the British rider put all of his technique and teamwork into play. Supported by his team, he attacked the Colle delle Finestre in an 80-kilometre solo ride. His legs seemed to be in perfect harmony, striking the perfect balance between power and rhythm. He pushed on in the higher gears, speeding up his cadence. That allowed him to accelerate by controlling the power of his legs and pacing himself energy-wise.
That same perfect rhythm that you see in electricity, in the constant striving for the right balance of power and frequency. The balance that our company is attempting to achieve by developing digital grids and generation technologies for renewable sources. But we want to win a green rather than a pink jersey: the jersey of sustainability.