The heavy rains of recent weeks have had a particular impact in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, where a series of severe floods caused multiple material damage with severe damage to electricity and telephone networks, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of people and unfortunately causing loss of life (at least nine dead and several missing). The floods were also felt in Faenza, the home of U23 cyclist Luca Bagnara, who was affected by the damage.

“In our house, as in many others in the area, a lot of water came in and then turned into mud and sludge. Practically all the things that were on the ground floor during the floods are unusable, they are ready to be thrown away. Little by little we have started to fix everything as much as possible, but the damage has been very extensive. It’s a real shame,” says Luca.

Training in this context was an impossibility, not only because of the emotional aspect, but also because of the road situation in the area. Bagnara, in fact, had planned to take part in the U23 team’s training camp in Segovia once he had finally overcome a small fracture in his right wrist, but in the end it was not possible for him to attend. “The big flood reached my area on 17 May. In my case I was only out of training for a week, a little less, because I stayed with a former team-mate in Modena for several days and I was able to ride while the situation at home improved”.

“Now, fortunately, the situation has improved a lot. Many roads have been reopened, many houses have been cleared of mud… The roads are largely clean. The biggest problems, in this sense of training, are in the more mountainous parts of the area, which are still not passable because there have been many landslides,” he says. “There is still a lot to do. There are people who have lost everything in these floods. We must not forget them. We have to be with them and help them as much as possible”.

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