Memorial Marco Pantani 2021
Castrocaro e Terra del Sole – Cesenatico (199 km)
This is how the great teams run, this is how the great riders run. A day to remember, lived with head held high from the beginning to the end: with the victory only touched by Vincenzo Albanese, beaten in the sprint only by Sonny Colbrelli (and behind him people like Trentin, Ulissi…), with our Davide Bais to pull like a tractor in the breakaway gone away shortly after the start (9 riders went away, with Bais also Vicente Hernaiz who is running with the EOLO-KOMETA jersey as stagiaire) and resumed at 40 km to the end. Really, only the victory was missing: very close for our Alba, who in this season would really deserve a personal success (and there are still some races suitable for him: be careful).
Let’s tell the story of this final race. The group broke up, leaving a group of 19 riders in front to play the sprint on an asphalt wet by the rain: and it was Colbrelli, the favorite at the eve of the race, who triumphed ahead of our Alba. A close victory, a victory that will come. Soon.
Vincenzo Albanese: “Today was a great race, a great race. I’m always there, since the beginning of the year: I was beaten by the new European champion who is literally flying at this moment, and I’m very happy because this second place gives me hope from here to the end of the season to grab this victory that keeps eluding me. I have to thank the whole team that has always kept me in front and even in the most difficult moments has always helped me to stay in the group of the best and to make a good sprint. Thanks to Bais who was in the breakaway all day long and at the end he started to pull in the last laps, thanks to Christian who was fundamental when I took a hole from the first ones and he brought me back under and was great, thanks to captain Gavazzi and Belletti, thanks to Fortunato. We are a great team, really”.
Vicente Hernaiz, EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team rider: “Getting into the breakaway was my personal goal, set by the team, so I’m happy to have achieved it. In these races with ProTeam and WorldTour team the breakaways are hard to make and maintain. The first few km there were many attacks in which Bais and I were, and already in the last lap of the initial circuit we managed to make a cut of about 10-12 riders, which have been staying in the hard climbs that were there and the high pace, as the peloton did not let us catch too much time. In the end we were only 5 riders for the last laps of the circuit, in the last ascent of the Montechino climb I couldn’t stay in the breakaway and I was passed by the peloton in the final part”.
Stefano Zanatta, DS EOLO-KOMETA: “Today’s race was really well prepared. We had asked Bais and Hernaiz to take the breakaway of the day and they were very good at it. Halfway through the race there was a downpour and the group broke up a bit, while in the front there were only five, with Bais who was very useful together with Christian to form the group that with Albanese took the victory. He did a great sprint, he was beaten by the strongest rider in this moment, he confirmed his growth: we will try again tomorrow. Alba is in great growth and who knows: Cassani could convince himself to bring him to the World Championships, next week”.