Italian drought continues at Giro d’Italia
Italian drought continues at Giro d’Italia.
In Alberobello on Friday afternoon, for example, while Giuseppe Fonzi’s long breakaway effort was slowly jumping the shark in deepest Puglia, a sizeable contingent of Italian reporters stood huddled around the region’s most famous ex-rider, Leonardo Piepoli, at one side of the press room.
When Francesco Moser walked by in his cycling kit, fresh from guiding guests from a race sponsor across the finish line, one almost felt a nation turn its lonely eyes to him.
Seven stages have now gone by without a stage win for Italy on the Giro, technically the worst start by the home nation in the history of the race, even if in 2010, Liquigas’ early team time trial win was the only Italian triumph before Filippo Pozzato claimed victory on stage 12 in Recanati.
"Italians, where are you?"
La Gazzetta lamented after a five-man break escaped up the road on stage 6 without a single local representative.
"I have riders who want to come to the Giro and then after a few stages, they already have sore legs," Scinto complained.
After the stage, he sought to put the travails of Wilier-Triestina, and of all the Italian riders in the race, into context.
In 2017, there are just 43 Italian riders in the Giro – the smallest proportion in history – and only two Italian teams, the Pro Continental outfits Wilier-Triestina and Bardiani-Valvole.