The official award ceremony of the TDG 2012 caused great excitement this morning at Courmayeur.
The celebrations kicked off with the joyful parade of the "Beuffon", the carnival costume typical of Courmayeur, followed by the procession of the 392 finishers along Via Roma. The Giants symbolically cut through the finishing line in Piazza Abbé Henry, before arriving in the Jardin de l'Ange, where they were cheered on both sides by an exuberant crowd. The entire town demonstrated their enthusiasm to the athletes who, this year more than ever before, had overcome many challenges in order to cross the finishing line.
An emotional Oscar Perèz Lopez, winner of this year's Tor des Géants, made two special dedications, saying: "My victory? I dedicate it to my wife, who is always by my side, and to Mr Platt, who in a difficult moment at Valtournenche, accompanied me for a while and encouraged me not to give up."
The second-place finisher, Gregoire Millet, attributed his success to the Aosta valley community: "The Tor would not be what it is without the passion and involvement of the local community. The volunteers have been phenomenal, and the cheering and support of the crowds along the route were vital in spurring us on."
Amongst the women, there was a special cheer for Francesca Canepa, a local athlete who won first place, dominating the women's race: "It was a brilliant challenge, which was made even better by the huge crowds who cheered us on along the route."
As well as the main category prizes, four special prizes were also awarded: the Tecnica "Catch me if you can" prize, the Grivel prize for the three best athletes from Aosta Valley - for both men and women, the Montura prize for the five last finishers - also awarded to both men and women, and finally the Istagram Contest "Snap your Tor" prize which goes to the three most representative photos of the competition.
The "Ferrino Endurance Mention" prize will be awarded to the athlete who achieves the best final combined time for the TDG and the Trofeo Mezzalama.
All 392 finishers received a medal in recognition of their achievement.