Giro d’Italia U23
Stage 9 (a): Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (72.8 km)
Stage 9 (b): Il Muro di Ca’ del Poggio-Ca’ del Poggio (22.4 km CRI)
The Giro d’Italia U23 is over. The long-awaited stage against the clock in the real time format that was closing the 2018 edition consolidated the pink finale for the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom), who had risen to lead the race in a hectic first sector where, after a crash, and a lot of work by the Russian team in between, the previous leader, the Colombian Osorio, gave up almost a minute and a half. Luxembourg’s Michel Ries completed an outstanding Giro, finishing in the top ten. The talent of Polartec-Kometa, who in the first sector had regained eighth place on their way to Asiago, set the 22nd best time in the time trial and finished the Italian round in ninth place. A brilliant top ten.
In that timed final where Vlasov underpinned his overall leadership, the other two places of honour also underwent tenant changes. The Portuguese Joao Almeida (Axeon) jumped from sixth to second place in a podium that was completed by the Australian Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), winner of the stage and seventh before the start of this second sector. Matteo Moschetti, who retired during the morning after also completing a magnificent race, did not face it.
“In the end, and this is something I emphasize to the guys, in long-distance races like this you have to keep a middle line. You can’t think only of the best day or the worst. An overall assessment has to be made. I think we have done a great Giro, we have been protagonists every day. The Polartec-Kometa has been one of the most mentioned equipment through Radio Vuelta. Every day we had something to fight for, something to do, and each and every member of the team has lived up to it. And all this without forgetting that we have also been one of the teams that have suffered the most misfortunes. Yes, we have done a very good race”, says the director Jesús Hernández.
The first experience of Polartec-Kometa in the Transalpine round has been an enriching experience that has been only partially successful. Matteo Moschetti nurtured that desire for several days and even caressed the win in Monico al Serio, where he finished second. The Milanese carried several days the red jersey of the general points. Ries’s regularity took over, keeping a Polartec-Kometa always in the top sixteen of the important days. The Madrid team finished fourteenth in the team rankings, although they soon lost a rider like Juan Pedro López, a great climber.
“At the team level I think we had a very good race and too much bad luck with the crashes,” said Diego Pablo Sevilla. “I’m very tired of both my mind and my legs. It was a very intense race and it wasn’t easy for us as a team, so we can be very, very happy. We’ve done well with Matteo and I’m really happy for Michel because to finish in the top ten in this race is not easy,” said Austrian Patrick Gamper, who had to go through several crashes in the first few days and has worked hard for his team-mates. “We are happy. Personally, I ended up feeling good. Now it’s time to recover well. This base is going to come in handy for the Spanish Championships”, Isaac Cantón contributes.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)
? Andrew Peat