Introducing the Sazka Tour, which started today in the Czech Republic, we said it would be a tough and demanding race: lots of climbing, little room for sprinters, apart from the first stage where the sprint finish would be natural. And so it was, with the stage starting in Prostejov and arriving in Unicov after 168 km. Sprint it was, with Itamar Einhorn of Israel Premier Tech beating Belgian Milan Fretin of Team Flanders-Baloise and U.S. Luke Lamperti of Trnity Racing. Behind, very good, was our own Giovanni Lonardi, who took sixth place.
However, it is necessary to tell what happened, and to do so we get help from ds Biagio Conte who was at the head of the flagship. “At the beginning of the stage a breakaway formed two riders who attacked just before the KOM: the two resisted until almost 70 km from the finish when the group accelerated and went to catch them. From that moment little happened, with the peloton starting to think about the final sprint and the sprinters’ teams getting organized: us, Israel, Intermarché. In races like this, with few sprinters, you need legs and a bit of luck to win.Lonardi had intended to anticipate the sprint, then with 1,500 meters to go he had a small cramp, a sign that his condition was not perfect. However, he hit a sixth place, which is a good thing, and that tomorrow will allow us to have a good position with the car: something useful, since we face a complicated stage.”
Giovanni Lonardi: “We went full throttle: we started strong and came in strong: at the end I tried to come out of the last corner in first position, but unfortunately I didn’t have any teammates while Israel managed to bring its sprinter in front. I still tried to sprint, and in the end came this sixth place.”