The rider from Vicenza won a super stage of the Giro d'Italia in the Italian jersey by beating Thibaut Pinot. In an Italy that is looking for a man for the podium in a grand tour if not the new Nibali, Zana at 24 is a precious resource
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VAL DI ZOLDO
The racing bicycle, a Slavic horse (Vior), the wood split for the winter in the woods of Val D'Astico. The life of Philip Zana from Piovene Rocchette it was all until yesterday, when the Vicenza rider won in the tricolor jersey (the last one to do it Vincenzo Nibali, 2016) a super stage of the Giro d'Italia beating a candid and courageous guy like him, that Thibaut Pinot who raises goats in the Haute-Saône.
After three seasons on the autarkic little train of the Emilian Bardiani team, Zana got on the Freccia Rossa of Jayco-Alula in January. I owe a lot to Bardiani – he explains – but in a second tier team, which competes by invitation only, until the last minute you don't know where you're going to compete. It's not easy to live in uncertainty. I knew that training at altitude is good, but I had to make do with my own pocket or with some willing companion, going to Pordoi or Livigno where it's freezing cold in spring. Jayco brought us all to Sierra Nevada: perfect weather, trainers, dieticians and mechanics who thought of everything. Heaven.
Even working cyclists go to heaven and as soon as Filippo arrived he was welcomed by the coach-engineer Marco Pinotti. They had told me of a discreet and not brilliant time trial rider - explains Pinotti - and therefore not cut out for stage races. Our tests, on the other hand, gave excellent numbers and in the time trial, with a few adjustments to the position, Filippo improved a lot. The fact that he goes so fast in the third week also means that he recovers well. Cycling doesn't offer certainties, but he's on the right track. In an Italy that is looking for a man for the podium in a grand tour if not the new Nibali, Zana at 24 is a precious resource.
What is he missing? That self-confidence - explains Pinotti - which serves to survive in a hostile environment such as high-level professionalism. For example, we were betting on the Bergamo stage to break away and try to win. When he took off, the same old bullying follower of a big team cut him off, ordering him to stop because, according to him, there were already too many on the run. Goofy pulled on the brakes. At the finish line I reminded him that he has the tricolor jersey on: the next time that happens, he'll send the bully to hell and run away.
Yesterday Zana also earned the trust of the Australian team which up until the penultimate climb was ready to stop him to help Captain Dunbar, something that as a loyal follower he would have accepted without a word. The unfortunate order from the flagship fortunately did not arrive, Italian cycling sincerely thanks.
May 26, 2023 (change May 26, 2023 | 07:13)
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