Facing a tough Giro U23 with epilogue in the Valtellina: day by day and a super competitive team

Giro d’Italia U23
From 29 August to 5 September 2020

New dates, less stages but race on the asphalt after all. The Giro d’Italia U23, the great stage race of the category, overcomes the doubts caused by the health emergency and by the confinement and starts again from the hand of the Nuova Ciclistica Placci 2013. The race emerges with a route over eight stages that runs through the regions of Marche, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Lombardy. This is another demanding route that will feature the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team led by the Italian Alessandro Fancellu. A participation that excites at the same time that supposes the whole challenge for being the first occasion in which the continental structure, also present in the Tour of Hungary, competes in two races at the same time.

Together with Fancellu, a team with a good level for climbing and a capacity to work for the plain, completed by the Portuguese Daniel Viegas, the Italian Antonio Puppio and the Spaniards Alejandro Ropero, Sergio García and the stagiaire Edu Pérez-Landaluce. “We want to fight for the maximum and we will see where we can be”, says Fancellu, who will live a special day in the final day, demanding, very hard, in a town of Aprica of which his mother is a natural. In the Mortirolo, the last great difficulty of the race, his cycling passion began to take shape.

In a Giro U23 without any kind of time trial it will be the mountain that will mark its law given the entity of some of the passes that the riders will face, although a couple of stages present ambushes in which to cement surprises. Already on the first day, in fact, the route of the circuit with start and finish invites to take precautions through the four steps of the ascent to I Gualdi, the last one at nine kilometers from a finish with which we want to commemorate, by the way, the 500th anniversary of the death of Rafael Sanzio, one of the great artists of the Renaissance. Italian cycling, always allied with extra-sporting symbols.

The stage to Bolca on the fourth day, especially because of the chained Lessini, La Bertola and La Collina before the ascending arrival (and not scoring) at this town can possibly be considered the first key day before the end of the festival in the Valtellina with two proposals of great difficulty: first the end in Montespluga (almost 30 km of climb to almost 2. 000 metres) and the last day the dreaded day of a Passo di Foppa, better known as Mortirolo, which is climbed from Mazzo di Valtellina. Although in a race with such a high turnout that arouses as much passion as the Giro, in the end any day can be decisive.

“The starting goal is to go out and fight for all the stage victories and, as the days go by, the race will tell us what is happening in terms of the overall”, says Italian Dario Andriotto, who will lead the squad in the Corsa Rossa. “The Giro U23 is a very different race from the one we do during the season. There is no real control, something can happen at any time. There are no World Tour teams that can control the development of the stage like in the Tour of Burgos or the Tour de l’Ain. No, everything is more open here. And given the participation, it’s like a small world championship. Objectively, I think we have a very good, super-competitive team, but we also have to be calm. They ask us a lot about Fancellu, about whether we’re here to win with him… And well, he’s a second year kid, he’s very young, we don’t have to pressure him. I’m very sad not to have been able to count on Fetter, who was in great physical condition. But in the team we have Sergio, who has all the experience of last year and can do well, Ropero… We have a competitive team… ma piano piano”.

Alessandro Fancellu, for his part, reveals: “I feel good and stronger than in Burgos. The Vuelta a Burgos was very demanding, at times brutal, but I’m also sure I needed a very hard race like this to improve my physical condition. The Giro d’Italia is my main objective and I prepared it well. I haven’t competed since Burgos and I think I have trained hard. I hope to be competitive for the overall in the Corsa Rosa”.

In the ‘six’ of the Giro is the Asturian Edu Perez-Landaluce, who debuts with the continental team as stagiaire and already had the opportunity in 2019 to compete in the Italian test with the U23 team directed by Rafa Diaz Justo. “Returning to the Giro is a real luxury. I was lucky enough to do it last year and I loved the experience. This year I have another chance, but with the extra motivation that is always doing it with the continental team. In the end the Giro is a long race, mainly for climbers and long distance runners, and I think with the team we have why we can’t think about aspiring to everything”.

The stages.

29 August: Urbino-Urbino (150.5 km).

30 August: Grada-Riccione (125 km).

31 August: Riccione-Mordano (150,5 km).

September 1: Bonferraro di Sorgà-Bolca (159,3 km).

2nd September: Maróstica-Rosà (132,7 km).

3rd September: Colico-Colico (157.1 km).

4th September: Barzio-Montespluga (116,5 km).

5th September: Aprica-Aprica (120.9 km).

(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)