As the dust settles on a dramatic Baby Giro, La Fiamma Rossa takes a look at how the Italians affected the thermometer during their 10 day race. Who’s hot enough to melt the glue on their own tubulars and who’s calling for their rain bag?
Melting the tub glue
The best Italian in the general classification, his second year as an under-23 started with some good placings (second at Strade Bianche di Romagna in particular), quickly followed by two wins on Basque roads and an intense Giro. Mainly known as a classics rider, he had the chance to test his climbing skills and proved he’s one of the hottest Italian prospects. We will see more of him in the weekend, when he will start the U23 Italian Championships in his hometown as a favourite, and in two weeks, with the national team at the Mediterranean Games.
Davide Cassani and the organisation
The organisation’s urbane figurehead is a big supporter of the race and recognises its importance for rider development. Some said or thought this Giro was too hard, some were skeptical towards the final time trial, but in the end the show was great and it could have been even better without some last minute crashes. The cherry on the top was riders sprinting over a 15% steep finish line with a TT bike at the end of the innovative ‘real time’ time trial. Now the question is: can the organisation raise the bar even more?
Unzip the jersey
A solid climber from Pavullo, close to the northern Apennines, Covili was there with the best in last year’s mountain stage on Campo Imperatore and was riding himself into 2018’s final top 10, before a crash in the penultimate stage resulted in him losing a minute from the best. His team G.S. Mastromarco-Sensi-FC Nibali will not ride the Giro Valle d’Aosta in July, but his consistency was rewarded already in 2017, when he signed a contract with Bardiani for 2019 and 2020.
Bride and bridesmaid. The 21-years-old from Verona is finally blooming. After spending the entire youth career in his hometown he was called up by strong Zalf-Euromobil. In his last year as an under 23 he managed to get a very important win in the finish of Forlì, ahead of the overly excited Thijssen. The second place for the sprint jersey is surely bittersweet, but he can be happy nonetheless. Fan of the northern classics and of Tom Boonen, he now has five wins, six 2nd places and four 3rd. Will be looking to make six wins at the nationals this Saturday, and finally land a pro contract for 2019.
Reach for the gilet
The U23 Italian champion. He was one of the most highly-anticipated riders coming into this Giro; the best Italian sprinter in the category and an incredible start of 2018 with 7 UCI wins already this season. The first stages of his Giro were decent and he wore the red jersey for a few stages, but in the end (of stage 9a, when he retired) he had only managed to get a 2nd place. He will have a chance to redeem himself this Saturday, during the Italian Championships, but defending the title will be a hard task.
As an Italian-registered squad the African development team was only able to field one non-Italian rider, meaning they started with 5 riders instead of the 6 that most teams entered (with Stefan de Bod the token straniero). Despite Matteo Sobrero’s third place in the prologue this was a race the team will want to forget – not least the African riders on the squad who were unable to race due to the decision to register the team in Italy this season.
Images and final paragraph by EW.