44ª Giro d´Italia U23
Stage 1: Cesenatico – Riccione (144,5 km)
The great stage race of the U23 category got underway on Thursday with a first stage in which the intense battle between a breakaway of six riders and the rest of the peloton stood out. A breakaway that was formed in the 30 kilometres, that would reach more than nine and a half minutes of advantage at km 60 and that would be planted in the last twenty kilometres with just over two and a half minutes. From this breakaway, Andrea Cantoni stood out at the end, who would win the first fraction and become the first leader of the race.
In the first big bunch, 37 seconds later, the five members of the U23 team of the Foundation would arrive, with the ‘Pucelan’ Vicente Hernaiz as the spearhead (18º). It was a comfortable first day to make contact with the pulse of the competition in a race that is always rich in alternatives. The race went fairly smoothly until it entered its final kilometres and the pace increased substantially. Although there was no physical space to break the breakaway completely.
“It was a very good first stage for us. At the start I tried to catch the breakaway, but it wasn’t possible. It was a close call. The good breakaway ended up being a movement that responded to ours. Then we rode very well all day, until almost 25 kilometres to the end. From then on it was going at a thousand kilometres per hour. It was a tremendous contrast. On the last climb I had a bad time, but I knew how to suffer to get to the group. I gave everything I had to stay ahead. The conclusion of this first stage: good sensations. Let’s go for the second”, says the Balearic Joan Martín Bennassar.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23: “In a ten-day race with a U23 team we have to be a bit more conservative because we are here to do well in the overall. The main objective was to save the day in terms of crashes, breakdowns and mishaps and that is always achieved, even more so when the peloton is very big and the roads are very narrow, riding at the front. The guys have saved the first day with flying colours. The stage had a very flat first part and a second part of very complicated terrain. The breakaway took a lot of time, the teams with aspirations for the general classification had a battle to see who could get to work and when they wanted to get to work it was too late”.
For this Friday, 138.3 kilometres between Riccione and Imola, with the presence of Monte Carla (not scoring), Monticino and above all a Cima Gallistera which is crowned with ten kilometres to go and which has one of its 2.5 kilometres of ascent with an average gradient of more than 11%.
[📷 Giro d´Italia U23]