Can one talk about cycling on days like these? Can one speak of winners and losers, of stages raced and goals chased, when the hearts of all fans around the world are swollen with grief over Gino’s death? Perhaps, one must. Because those who love cycling know that it is right, even if it is difficult. So hard.
So, Tour of Slovenia. The stage with so much climbing, the stage that was thought to decide the overall standings (and instead will have to wait until tomorrow), the stage where EOLO KOMETA fans were waiting for Lorenzo Fortunato and his desire to try to win. Lo and behold, the news is that Fortunato responded in attendance: an absolute protagonist in the queen stage that saw Italian champion Filippo Zana take the leader’s jersey with a bit of fear when he fell ruinously, thus leaving the victory to teammate Jesùs David Peña (Jayco AlUla). Behind them came Diego Ulissi and our own Fortu. Fourth place today, and third place in the general classification at 6″ from leader Zana.
A day that had seen the day’s breakaway led by Samuele Zoccarato (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Ide Schelling (BORA – hansgrohe), Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel – Euskadi) and Veljko Stojnić (Team Corratec – Selle Italia), with the Italian taking the first KOM on the top of Kolovrat. Behind, the group then organized itself with the work of Team Jayco AlUla, who with Pena and Zana crumbled the group: few resisted them, including our Fortunato and a splendid Garosio (in the end he will finish 30th: very good). Before the last pass over Kolovrat, Zana tried the solo action and was held back only by a fall on the descent.
Jesus Hernandez: “Good, very good. Exactly the same as yesterday, today the team raced around Lorenzo Fortunato with the only goal of getting him to the front at the foot of the last climb. They all worked very well, including Garosio who went very strong. Fortunato was very good, he took fourth place overall and most importantly he is now third in the general classification: we will defend the podium with our teeth.”
Lorenzo Fortunato: “It was a tight race, I fell in the first lap and then I was able to come back, I did the full climb and I was able to come back on Zana who in turn had fallen. Now I am third overall, I will do everything to defend the podium and maybe improve the position.”