The second stage of the Tour of Antalya is bittersweet for Giovanni Lonardi. Four years ago it was a victory, today he’s been initially considered third but was later demoted to fourth following a jury correction. In front of the eyes of… Kemal Ataturk in statue form, the Team Polti Kometa rider was first proclaimed GC leader, then forced to take off the magenta jersey and put back on the yellow one of the points classification.
The Veronese sprinter was well supported by the team from the start in Demre and for the following 140 kilometers along the Anatolian coast: on the uphill segment between Kumluca and Üçoluk he hid in the fog, on the descent towards Antalya he hid behind his teammates, until the sprint in Republic Square, won by the young Slovenian Govekar who will present himself in Kemer tomorrow with the magenta jersey.
Despite the news, Lonardi still has the satisfaction of wearing the yellow jersey. “I’m sorry not to have repaid the team for the great work done – he says – but the glass half full is to see that we’re always there and legs and head are in sync. Now the focus is on Mount Tahtali’s queen stage, where we’ll try to do well with Double and Piganzoli, then on Sunday (in this same Antalya sprint finish) we’ll try again”.
From one Giovanni to another, this is the comment of sports director Ellena: “How good the guys are! On the first difficulty, where the breakaway of seven men went, Garosio, Double, Piganzoli and Lona himself punctured. They managed not only to rejoin, but to get ahead to control the breakaway despite the poor collaboration of the other teams (except Uno X). Too bad for how it ended in the end, but the thought is entirely on the crucial mountain finish tomorrow.”