54º Tour du Limousin
Stage 4: Sauviat-sur-Vige – Limonges (169,7 km)

The perfect day. The perfect arrival. The perfect image. The most beautiful, the most pursued, the most dreamed. The last stage of the Tour du Limousin gave us something great: victory for Erik Fetter, second place for Vincenzo Albanese. And both with their arms raised, because EOLO-KOMETA is a team but it is also a family: where you don’t win and you don’t lose alone, but you win and you lose as a group. And to embellish this unforgettable day, here is Davide Bais able to win all the KOM and to conquer the leader jersey of the special ranking.

To tell the story of this stage, which closed the French stage race, we have to start right from the end. From those last meters when Fetter tried the decisive action: an imperious sprint, a splendid acceleration that no one could resist, a pedal stroke that allowed him to arrive at the finish line with his arms raised. Immediately behind him, also with raised arms, Vincenzo Albanese. And it’s beautiful, beautiful to see this gesture: Alba is the rider who in recent months more than anyone else has chased, tried, touched victory. To see him celebrate the victory of a teammate in this way is a sign that he has worked well and that the road is the right one: strong riders have been chosen, but above all great men have been chosen.

And here he is, the winner. There’s Erik Fetter. “Simply, unbelievable. I can’t believe it. In the first three stages I suffered so much, I was sick and this morning my only thought was to try to survive and finish the stage. And now I’m here talking as a winner: it’s crazy. Exactly one year ago I had my accident, it was a very hard and complicated period: but the work, the hard work has finally paid off. And this is my greatest day. And this was a great day for the team too, with Albanese coming behind me with his arms raised to celebrate my victory and Bais taking the mountain jersey. I think it’s really a historic day for EOLO-KOMETA, and it’s a success not only for the riders but for all the staff, all the trainers, everyone. Thank you, thank you all”.

Vincenzo Albanese: “There is not much to say: Erik started strong, and he arrived. For the team, it doesn’t matter who wins, it’s about winning. And for this reason I’m very happy, even if I don’t hide the fact that I want this first victory”.

Davide Bais: “Today I had the task of entering the day’s breakaway, and I succeeded. In the breakaway I tried to do well in the KOM and sprints, and I managed to take the mountain jersey. I’m very happy because in these days we really raced as a real team. And obviously I’m very happy for Erik’s team victory and Alba’s second place”.

Stefano Zanatta, DS EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “We continued the work of the last days, trying to make these guys grow and to make them always go in the breakaway. Albanese is fine, but the stages are always challenging and we don’t have a team that can control the race. Bais was very good at getting into this group of 14 riders, he won the first two GPM and then we did the math and saw that if he had won the other two he would have passed Pinot in the ranking: and so he did. Behind, then, we moved well: first Wackermann and then Fetter who didn’t think he had the right leg and instead went strong in the final with some help from Gavazzi who pushed him to stay ahead. The final, you saw it: it was a sprint, I know that Albanese would have liked to win but his jubilation for the success of his teammate was a beautiful gesture, and also Wackermann raised his arms when there were still one hundred meters to go: for us who work behind the scenes, it means that these guys have really understood the spirit of this team. And we’re going to keep working like this, because we don’t know how to do it any differently”.

[ Zoe Souillard / Tour du Limousin]

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