Giro d’Italia 2021
Stage 5: Modena – Cattolica (177 km)
Manuel Belletti wanted it, wanted it badly. After an unlucky season peppered with two injuries, after the announcement on the eve of this Giro that he was retiring at the end of the season, in a stage with a finish just a few kilometres from his home and a sprint to throw himself into. Manuel wanted to be there and he wanted to leave his mark, despite everything.
And Manuel Belletti did just that, pulling out of his hat a display of pride and desire: a ninth-place finish that, given the way the last few days have gone, is (almost) as good as a victory. A sprint “à la Belletti”, with his unique ability to choose the right wheel and to guess the best trajectories, which led him to a “top ten” in a complicated stage of the Giro that saw a bad fall at the end. A fall that left one of the main candidates for victory in the Giro on the asphalt, that Landa who in yesterday’s stage in Sestola had shown an excellent condition: his Giro, unfortunately, ended in Cattolica.
Bravo Manuel, the Giro continues and every day will bring surprises and opportunities that Eolo-Kometa will try to seize. Starting tomorrow, with a stage to follow: 160 km from the Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno, with three GPM (two second category and one third) and an uphill finish. We will be there, and you?
Manuel Belletti: “Today was my home stage and I wanted to try and get a good result: ninth place came out which, given my condition, was probably the best I could have hoped for. In the last 200 meters I touched with Pasqualon and I lost a pedal stroke, maybe I could have gained a couple of positions but it would have changed little. The important thing was to react to the crash of the other day, let’s see if we can get through tomorrow and do something good again in the next sprints”.