Vincenzo Albanese takes first podium for EOLO-KOMETA
56th Tirreno Adriatico
Stage 1: Lido di Camaiore – Lido di Camaiore (156 km)
History is written over moments. That of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team is still a very tender story in which many of its best moments are yet to come. But this Wednesday, on the Tyrrhenian coast, Vincenzo Albanese built his own little corner of it. ‘Alba’ became the first rider of the structure to climb a podium as the first leader of the mountain classification of this Tirreno Adriatico. Green Maglia for him after a great work, immeasurable, of his teammate Samuele Rivi. The two of them got into the early breakaway, initially six riders, which led the race until its last 10 km. The presence of three passes over Monte Pitoro in the first third of the stage, animated this fight. Albanese was second behind Belgian Jan Bakelandts on the first climb. The roles were reversed on the second. For the third climb a great battle between Alba, Bakelandts and Simone Velasco. History, yes, is written in moments.
The first stage of the Tirreno Adriatico proposed a not excessively long route with an ideal finish for the sprint. Until then, the eternal tussle between the breakaway and the teams with an interest in the volata. Six riders broke away very early on and the big group left it all alone. After the last climb to Monte Pitoro, the breakaway was down to five riders, with the two EOLO-KOMETA riders among them. The peloton managed the gap, which was never a cause for concern to prevent the sprint. With 25 seconds to go Samuele Rivi and Mattia Bais stood out when the gap was around one minute. With ten seconds to go they were finally caught. Alejandro Ropero and Mark Christian quickly took up the baton to put Manuel Belletti in the best possible position in view of the inevitable sprint.
Facing the sprint, the experienced Manuel Belletti was moving up positions with a view to launching his finish, finding gaps where there seemed to be none with that skill of the masters. In the end he was closed and could not get fully involved because a problem with his chain, finishing in the top twenty (finally 19th). “Unfortunately I got out of the chain. It´s was a pity because it would certainly have been an excellent result”, tells.
Vincenzo Albanese: “I’m happy, I’m happy because it was not easy to get this green jersey. Which by the way, on our shorts looks great on us. You know what? On that climb there were the signs that indicated the meters that were missing to the GPM: 500, 300, 200, 100. And on all those signs there was the writing EOLO, sponsor of the race. Then I said that I had to win it by force, at all costs: because EOLO is us. Last night we had a meeting, in which Ivan asked us for a change of pace to crown the work done so far. I think we all showed that we understood his words”.
Samuele Rivi: “We had the task of going into a breakaway and trying to take the green jersey, we succeeded with Albanese and I tried to help him as much as I could. Then, since I was already out in the breakaway, why not try to go all the way? I like to get some air and push on the flat, so it was nice to try this two-man attack to try and dream of making it to the end. Obviously the group was very fast, and the sprint finish was a foregone conclusion: but it was a good day, even if we made a great effort as always”.
For Thursday, 202 kilometres between Camaiore and Chiusdino with a last third of the day complicated by the winding terrain through Casciano, Poggio alla Croce and Monticiano before the final slightly uphill finish. The final seven kilometres are uphill, the last three with gradients of between 4 and 5%.
[📷 PhotoGomezSport (1, 3), Maurizio Borserini (2)]