The condition growing day by day, the legs turning better and better, the confidence growing, the strongest getting closer and closer. Vincenzo Albanese hit another Top-10 (number 16 in the season) at the Pantani Memorial, a race that the peloton made very hard right away (44 kmh the final average speed) and that put the riders’ legs to the test.
In the end the winner was Alexey Lutsenko, who on the finish line in Cesenatico, in front of the monument commemorating Pantani, beat Hirschi and Sivakov. Behind them the trio formed by Simon Yates, Formolo and Martin and at 4′ the surviving small group with our Albanese who finished ninth in the sprint.
This was no ordinary race, not really. No breakaway, but the peloton that immediately broke in two with 35 riders remaining in front (with our Alex Martin and Fran Munoz) and able to accumulate a lead of 1’20”, with Astana forced to work to patch up because it was the only team without riders in front. The race was then decided in the circuit of Longiano with the favorites of the day able to go away with a small group and our Albanese who was unable to stay with them because of a puncture that came right at the decisive moment.
Vincenzo Albanese: “Really a lot of bad luck, that puncture came at the worst moment even if you have to be honest and say that those in front had another leg, I tried to catch them and I got very close but then on the descent alone it would have been impossible. I am happy for the eighth place, I am happy for the growing condition, I am confident for the next races starting with tomorrow’s one.”
Stefano Zanatta: “The team raced well, right from the start and with all the guys: careful and focused as it always has to be. The race was very hard, the pace was very high and Albanese was good even if a bit unlucky with that puncture. But he is growing, he returned to racing a few days ago and he has already shown he is going strong: if we race like this, the results will come.”