Giro d’Italia: a challenge, a gift, an opportunity

Giro d´Italia 2.UWT
4th - 26th May

May arrives, and with it comes the Giro d’Italia. The race that Team Polti Kometa has meticulously prepared for with dedication. For which it has focused all its strength. In which it aims to shine and thrill the fans. For the fourth consecutive season, since 2021, the Professional structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation will be at the start of the corsa rosa.

To face a really tough race that distributes excitement along the course, Polti Kometa lines up eight versatile riders: Matteo Fabbro for the overall classification, the climber Davide Piganzoli who will make his debut in the Giro; Giovanni Lonardi for the sprints, the brothers Davide and Mattia Bais to fight for presence in the breakaways and on steep terrain, as well as the captain Mirco Maestri and the brave duo formed by Andrea Pietrobon and Fran Muñoz, also debutants, who will surely collaborate with the team’s objectives as well as looking for their own opportunities. Three of the cyclists called up (Piganzoli, Pietrobon and Muñoz) have grown up in the Alberto Contador Foundation teams. Their great progression has allowed them to reach the professional team and compete in the Giro d’Italia.

The route of this 107th edition will start in Venaria Reale with a spectacular stage towards Turin, during which Superga and Colle Maddalena will be climbed. To complete the grand start weekend, the second stage will conclude at the sanctuary of Oropa. Then follow four days of escapes and sprints, before the daunting 40-kilometer time trial from Foligno to Perugia, the first uphill finish at Prati di Tivo, and the 214 kilometers to Naples.

In the second week, there will be another uphill climax on the Bocca della Selva right away, followed by three opportunities for attackers and fast wheels along the Adriatic coast. Then comes the second ITT: 31.2 kilometers near Lake Garda. Finally, there are the 222 kilometers and 5400 meters of elevation beyond two thousand m a.s.l. in Livigno, including the ascent of the Mortirolo from the most challenging side.

Finally, the Alpine week: the Stelvio as the Giro’s Cima Coppi, the Val Gardena finish and passes Brocon, Sella, and Rolle. An intermediate flat stage in Veneto before heading down to Sappada and to the decisive double ascent of Monte Grappa. The grand finale in the Eternal City, with the Rome parade.

General manager Fran Contador expresses satisfaction with this fourth consecutive participation: “Being at the start of the Giro is everything for us; it’s a culmination that calls us to the responsibility of interpreting the race in the right way, highlighting our sponsors and achieving significant results. We have acquired considerable experience and we’re going to approach the three weeks with utmost clarity and determination. We’ll be able to perform well on all terrains, and this early season assures us that we can be protagonists alongside the best.”

“When we talk about the Giro d’Italia, we talk about the race of the year,” echoes the sports manager Ivan Basso. “We start thinking about the invitation in winter, then the build-up begins. We are delivering convincing performances, always inserting ourselves in direct comparison with World Tour teams, and we present ourselves with a highly prepared lineup: we have individuals covering every type of characteristics and age. Many have already raced the Giro, and some will be making their debut, a mix that allows us to compete with precise objectives: it’s not enough for us to do well generically; we want to race in the proper manner, win the third stage in four years, fight for the KOM jersey and achieve a GC top-10 .”

The team will be led by Stefano Zanatta and Jesús Hernandez: “We are arriving well at this peak moment of the season – explains Zanatta – and are ready to honor one of the world’s biggest scenarios at our best. We’ll face it with the ambitious mentality that has led us to win two stages in three years; the eight athletes we will have at the start are in ideal physical and mental conditions to try to seize the various opportunities that may arise. It will be a very demanding race right from the start, that’s why we are bringing many strong climbers starting with Fabbro and Piganzoli. But without neglecting the sprints, for which we rely on Lonardi.”

Lead-out for the sprinter and guide for all the teammates, Mirco Maestri says: “It will be my seventh Giro d’Italia, the third in a row with this team, but I always experience it as if it were the first and feel the excitement of someone who’s competing in the race they dreamed of as a child. We have prepared very well and have been racing more and more solidly and compactly, a fundamental aspect in a grand tour as much as good form. We also know well the difficulty, but we aim to win at least one stage and maintain a decent overall position.”

Finally the words of Davide Bais, who in the Asturias returned to full form after the crash in the Tour of the Alps, and last year made everyone dream with the victory in Campo Imperatore and the maglia azzurra worn for half of the Giro: “Participating in this magnificent event is always an honor that makes me happy and motivates both me and my teammates. My mindset will be the same as last year: fighting for the KOMs and who knows, maybe finding another right breakaway…”