Diego Pablo Sevilla stands out on the demanding ‘entroterra’ to Palermo
Giro di Sicilia
Stage 2: Capo d´Orlando-Palermo (236 km)
Although the evolution of cycling sport, and its expansion throughout the world and the annual calendar, has introduced and reinforced new stakes in the preparation of stages and routes, in the DNA of the route remain the long distances and management derived from efforts and fatigue. Cycling is a long-distance sport. The second stage of the reborn Giro de Sicilia brought with it this Thursday a fraction of 236 kilometers (plus the neutralized route). In the end, it was the longest stage so far this season within the UCI EuropeTour, the European continental circuit. And one of the most extensive in 2019, even counting WorldTour events: only Milan-Sanremo (291 km) and Ghent-Wevelgem (249.5 km) within the elite of elites has presented a course of greater length.
In the long journey to Palermo, long, at times over water, again protagonism for the Kometa Cycling Team. His young squad, in many cases, had not been seen before a course of such length. “It’s going to be my first time”, the neoprofessional José Antonio García smiled in the previous race. The stage, with a slight delay on the worst schedule, also marked by the neutralization of a small stretch for security reasons, would end up being resolved in sprint, with victory for Manuele Belletti (Androni), also ascent to the leadership for the Italian sprinter. The continental formation of the Alberto Contador Foundation would, however, be one of the protagonists of the hand of Diego Pablo Sevilla. The Spaniard was one of the five escaped riders who shot in the vanguard during a good part of the day. Antonio Puppio was again involved in the volata, although it was closed by other men: at the end, twenty-seventh with the same time as the winner.
With maximum rents of five minutes Sevilla shared the route with the Danish Kron (Riwal), the Lithuanian Luksevics (Amore e Vita) and the Italians Disante (Sangemini) and Toniatti (Colpack). Four repeat offenders after betting on the escape also in the inaugural stage: the Kometa Cycling Team was one of them. Seven kilometres from the end the breakaway would be definitely neutralized by a bunch where Delko, Bardiani, Androni and Gazprom had been working with intensity. At 3.5 kilometres, however, after an acceleration of the ‘bardiani’ Tonelli, the Italian Stefano Oldani would lead the race alone. “It wasn’t really an attack, I was working for Antonio, but I ended up consolidating a small gap with the rest of the riders. Then, back in the pack, again I helped Puppio to take a good position”, explains the Lombard.
Sevilla managed to top the mountain top and whoever crossed the finish line first, whether he or his team-mate Cantón, would depend on the identity of the bearer of the ‘maglia pistaccio’ this Friday. The manchego finally retained the provisional leadership of this secondary general and this Friday an important day emerges to be able to consolidate it, since in the 188 kilometres between Caltanissetta and Ragusa the riders will have to face the ascent to Serra di Burgio. In addition, the arrival at the center of Ragusa is in slope, a final that opens the range of aspirants.
“I’m bursting at the seams. The truth is that I haven’t had my best legs. But these days you have to know how to suffer”, says Diego Pablo Sevilla after his great performance. Isaac Canton, the mountain leader of the Italian race: “We are very happy. It has been a very crazy day, with air, rain, more than six hours of cycling and 3,000 meters of unevenness. Diego could have filtered into the leak. And I, personally, am very recovered from yesterday’s fall and I hope to be well this Friday. We’re going to go for it”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)