Manuel Belletti’s last: “Thank you very much”
105 Gran Piemonte
Roca Canavese – Borgosesia (168 km)
However, there was room for things that went beyond cycling: because this race spoke of men, it spoke of friendship, of team and family. Today’s race was Manuel Belletti’s last, and he will leave the world of cycling: the greeting of the entire team on the bus in the morning, with that applause that will remain forever in the eyes of those who were there and the song that played in the background. “Grazie Mille”.
Of course, there was also the running. And we all dreamed, perhaps without admitting it, of a winning sprint by Manuel: it would have been the most beautiful way to end a story, it would have been the most unforgettable end. Unfortunately, not all fairy tales have a happy ending and the sprint had a different story: with 1 km to go, with the team well positioned to play for the victory, a skid of the group cut off several protagonists (in addition to ours, also Elia Viviani) and the race ended in the hands of the British Matthew Walls, very able to exploit his skills as a pistard.
Manuel Belletti: “My teammates dedicated a song to me called ‘Grazie Mille’, but it’s me who has to thank them. Them and all the men of the team, because in this season they have been my second family: I’m happy to have closed my career with this team, I could not have wished for better. This has been a difficult season for me, I would have liked to give more to this team but unfortunately you can’t control everything. But in every complicated moment, the team has been there. And I too, after every injury, have always been ready. Now a new page opens, but EOLO-KOMETA will always remain something beautiful”.
[📷 Maurizio Borserini (1, 3), PhotoGomezSport (2)]