Cycling manages to bring out days like this: days when the fatigue of the riders, the strength of the icy wind, and the hardness of the climb all mix together to give the purest spectacle and image of a wonderful sport.
No room for poetry today: just a lot of fatigue, and to stay in front all the courage and heart within. A stage that was known to be hard, made almost impossible by a very strong wind and rain showers that came to freeze the muscles cutting them as if with a knife. A stage that changed the classification (Roglic won and took the leader’s jersey, as well as slipping the green one off the shoulders of our Bais) and that saw the strongest riders in the world give each other a no-holds-barred battle. And it is splendid to see that there, in the midst of the sari monsters of cycling, our boys were able to take their space.
First, the breakaway of Erik Fetter, very good at getting into the day’s attack in a group of 5 riders able to hold on until 30 km to the finish. And then, him: Lorenzo Fortunato, who once again showed that he has the condition and the head to stay there at the front. Yesterday he had tried to win the stage by attacking with 2 km to go, today he gritted his teeth and resisted in the group of the best that was getting thinner and thinner. A Fortunato that really bodes well for the upcoming engagements: right face, right attitude that leads him to always run in front, and a condition that grows with each passing day. And above all, the desire to improve that never leads him to be satisfied.
Lorenzo Fortunato: “I’m not happy, I would have liked to finish in the top 10 but I didn’t succeed. It was a strange climb, with a headwind that did not allow for much difference and I missed the change of pace in the last kilometer and I will have to work on that. Work, work, work.”
Stefano Zanatta: “Also today, good: we started the stage battling and went into a breakaway with Fetter. Then in the final climb Fortu kept with the best until the last kilometer and then slipped away a bit: good job everyone, today was a stage made of wind, cold and rain.”