Dear Vincenzo

30 May 2011

Dear Vincenzo,
Before the start of the Giro d’Italia people already saw you as a potential winner.
After you won the Vuelta last year, all eyes were fixed on you in Italy.
Everyone expected to see heroic fights between you and Contador.
The Giro picked out the highest mountains,
sand roads were more the rule than an exception and
they made sure you were on a bike for more than six hours almost every day.
That was not an advantage to you.
You’re a good climber, but not the best of the peloton.
Still, you were the leader of your team,
finally released from the role of gregario.
Over the past few years you have worked so hard
for riders like Di Luca, Pellizotti and Basso.
I know you already won the Vuelta, but this race is different.
This is the Giro d’Italia.
Italy is the place where you grew up,
where there are mountains you have climbed several times.
You’ve been dreaming of the Giro ever since you were a young boy.
If you win the Giro one day, you’ll be honoured in Italy for the rest of your life.
You knew it was going to be tough this year.
Contador was there, Scarponi was very strong,
Kreuziger, your old teammate, was in a good shape.
But who knew this Giro was going to be a ‘Contador show’?
In the 2nd week you already knew it was done.
You weren’t fighting for pink anymore, you were fighting for the 2nd place.
You lost that battle too.
Don’t worry about it. Your time will come.
I’m almost sure you’ll be on the podium again at the end of the Giro some day.
This time not as the 3rd or the 2nd rider in the general classification,
but as the winner of the Giro d’Italia.

© / Daniele Badolato – LaPresse


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