‘Sprint’ in the festive Naples with victory for Mads Pedersen in the Giro | Sports

More sky blue than pink, more calcium what a bike, banners everywhereNaples is electric, happy, the wind waves the flags of the people who never tire of celebrating the third scudetto, and they rush Fernando Gaviria, infected, electric and, even more, nervous, who disdains the message, defies the wind that sweeps his face and, to the right, jumps when the Giro catches up with the escapees, exhausted De Marchi, Clarke , who lost faith only in the last kilometer, and cry the lament of the honest cyclist at the finish line. “Being caught like this, in the last meters, after so many kilometers, breaks your heart”, Clarke regrets in the RAI microphones. “So many sacrifices in this job, I had dreamed of this moment for so long and staying there is devastating…”

There are still 300 meters to go, the long straight of via Caracciolo, the Mediterranean always on your left. There is a world

Finally, there remains a fifth place for the Colombian sprinter from Movistar, a great frustration, another sprint that flies The Gaviria missile announces, behind him, the advance of the Danish Mads Pedersen, the 1919 world champion, who resists Jonathan Milan’s long comeback attempt, extremely agitated, headbutts into the air, excessively agile development, agonizing, the antisprinter, and achieve victory. Already winner of a stage in the Tour, and three in the Vuelta, the Trek leader enters the restricted rainbow club at the age of 27 with victories in the three big ones, as they did, in the 21st century, Valverde, Sagan, Gilbert, Cavendish, Hushovd, Bettini and Cipollini. Norwegian Andreas Leknessund remains the leader.

The Giro revolves around Vesuvius, from Naples to Naples inland, where life is leisure, Pompeii, the banquets of Lucullus, the great culture 2,000 years ago, and then, past heavy mountains, the Sorrento peninsula bordering the Amalfi coast. Asphalt and basalt pavers in Torre del Greco, punctures, breakdowns, the entire lot. Territory of ambushes, Remco Evenepoel had warned weeks ago, that, the day after the dog day, the rain and the boats on the ditches that left a large purple bruise on one buttock, and a question mark on his head, he He goes up to the starting podium, a great stage in which he plays with a ball, 20, 30 consecutive touches without letting it fall, and a smile. If any team wanted to test their mental, muscular, vital recovery, the demonstration of the former captain of the Belgian youth team takes them away. Then, in the great ascent of the day, the Valico di Chiunzi — a second that went down in history because on its descent, 26 years ago, a black cat crossed in front of Marco Pantani, who fell to the ground, and there no more Pirate’s Turn–Evenepoel displays striking form and plenty of authority.

Following the Pantani route, everything in the Giro reminds him one day or another, Evenepoel, and the peloton will cross Abruzzo and its mountains again on Friday, 4,000 meters of positive difference, from south to north, sirocco at the start, warm wind from the southeast, in favor; ice and snow caked in the gutters at the top of the great boulder, the 2,120 meters of the Gran Sasso in Campo Imperatore, there where Chava Jiménez challenged the Pirate, and lost, in 99. A 35-kilometre climb, endless, stretched out, except the last three, very steep, and very cold, between one and three degrees. The anxious weave their negative list, they talk about Evenepoel’s pain, the weakness of his Soudal compared to the devastating solidity of Ineos, the cunning of Primoz Roglic… Evenepoel talks to the Belgian press. “I won’t have any problems,” he says. “The day in Naples has been perfect. Good weather, relax, always ahead, calm…”

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