Giro d’Italia U23
Stage 4: Mornico to the Serio-Passo Maniva (127,9 km)
The Colombian Alejandro Osorio is the new leader of the Giro d’Italia U23 after winning at the summit of Passo Maniva, where he arrived with his compatriot Daniel Muñoz in an exhibition of his country’s national team. Luxembourg’s Michel Ries, who is one of the strongest men in the pack, took eleventh place on the stage and became the best Polartec-Kometa rider in the provisional general standings of the Italian round, where he won eleven places and is in twelfth place in the provisional standings, 39 seconds behind the pink jersey. Matteo Moschetti, meanwhile, held on to the red jersey as leader of the points standings.
The Polartec-Kometa was one of the formations that was present in the escape of nine riders that took place in the first third of the day and that, to a greater or lesser extent, reached the port where the stage ended. Diego Pablo Sevilla was in charge of giving visibility to Madrid’s squad. Before the ascent, still in the valley, the Italian Massimo Orlandi would stand out in the lead, starting to face Maniva alone. He was later hunted by the Swiss Gino Mader and the Italian Samuele Zoccaratto, other members of the escape of the day who, little by little, had overcome positions. From behind, first Muñoz and then Osorio would end up at the head of a race that they would dynamite within the last kilometer.
“When Orlandi left, we stayed five runners, taking over and collaborating. As soon as I started the climb to Passo Maniva I went with Zoccaratto, but I couldn’t keep up with him. Shortly afterwards I was overtaken by Mader, who was another of the escapees and who would eventually finish third. The Colombians ended up catching him in the last few yards. The group of important men passed me about three kilometres from the end,” explained Sevilla, who finally finished 36th on the stage at 2:36.
“I felt really good today. And with good legs,” said a very satisfied Michel Ries. “The team really did a great job, with Diego riding in the breakaway and especially Matteo protecting me and keeping me safe on the flat and leaving me in a perfect position before the last climb. In the next few days we will have important, very difficult stages ahead of us, and we are already impatient”.
Jesús Hernández, director of Polartec-Kometa: “A good day, in general terms. The tactic was to try to catch the escape, in front, and keep Michel protected and positioned behind. Diego managed to catch the breakaway, showing very good legs and good disposition. And the rest of the team, behind him, rolled around Michel, had him very protected, with special significance for Moschetti. Michel has shown that he is in good shape, riding with the best. This year he has already shown himself to be a very regular cyclist and should go even further in the coming days. But we will go day by day, seeing how the race is going”.
Fallen during Sunday’s stage, listless with abrasions and discomfort, Isaac Cantón saved as complex day for him. “I didn’t go too badly, but on the bike it’s hard to get leverage. I don’t ride round. My right leg is a little stiff and I’m getting stronger with my left. Here we go, saving the days.” Canton finished in 70th place, 7:22 from the winner. Further back, accompanying Matteo Moschetti, Juan Pedro López arrived. The young Andalusian suffered another crash during this fourth stage.
The presence of the mountain will also be maintained this Tuesday with a fifth stage that will reach, after 127.8 kilometres, the Malga di Dimaro. A demanding day that in its layout proposes two other mountain passes, the Corteno Golgi (3rd) and the Passo di Tonale (1st), before facing a final ascent of 12 kilometers at 7.4% on average that concentrates its greatest harshness in the last three. A fundamental day in this Giro Baby.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)