On June 8, 2018, an eclectic mix of professionals from diverse fields gathered at Vienne near Lyon, France, to bicycle all the way to Modena, the spiritual home of Maserati. They were not there to race against the clock but to participate in the “Paris-Modena Kilometers For Charity,” an initiative hosted by Maserati to raise funds for the charity ‘Association Rêves,’ who work to turn the dreams of seriously ill children into reality.
This year’s event was the fifth running of this charity event hosted by Maserati. The first two editions, in 2014 and 2015, set-off from Disneyland in Paris and ran all the way to Modena. But in 2016 and 2017, the distance was shortened with an airlift in the middle to make the race accessible to more participants. This is why the event is titled ‘Paris-Modena’ this year even though the event began at Lyon.
The event is managed by Maserati’s West Europe offices and is limited to 35 cyclists. The objective is to bicycle through picturesque regions of France and Italy to reach Modena in five days, averaging about 100 kilometres per day. Each kilometre covered will raise funds for ‘Association Rêves.’
The event has attracted many distinguished individuals and celebrities in the past. This year the team of participants included: Former F1 driver and actor Paul Belmondo; Italian national cycling team coach Davide Cassani, former professional cyclists Alessandro Ballan, Marco Velo, and Paolo Fornaciari; José Miguel Antúnez, former Spanish national basketball captain; Italian alpine skier Manuela Moelgg; the Michelin starred chef Andrea Sarri; Matteo Panini, owner of the Panini Museum, which houses one of the world’s most important collection of historical Maserati cars.
On June 8, after departing from Lyon, the group headed to Mens and the famous climb of Alpe d’Huez. The next day, they reached Turin via the Galibier pass and Modane. The third day began in the Turin suburb of Grugliasco, at the “Avvocato Giovanni Agnelli Plant” where Maserati produces Quattroporte and Ghibli. This was followed by a stop at the Mirafiori plant where the Maserati Levante is produced and where they rode on its iconic roof-top test track. On the fourth day, they rode to Montecatini Terme, famed for its thermal pools in Tuscany. On the final day, June 12, they reached the head office of Maserati at Modena. On the way, the cyclists were treated to an exclusive visit to the private Panini collection, which is home to some of the most beautiful and historical Maserati cars.