Sangemini Mg.Kvis Olmo Vega steps on to the podium to win the first stage race of the season in the Tour of Albania with Bongiorno, following the important podium of Orrico at the Lugano GP .
We have come to the heart of the season and the team, trained by Fabrizio Frizzo and Angelo Baldini, is ready for all the events that matter most.
Andrea Gaffurini gave Sangemini Mg.Kvis Olmo Vega its first success of the season in the Bosnian race, Belgrade-Banjaluka, over a distance of 165 kilometres. A podium dominated by the Continental team, with Paolo Totò enjoying second place.
At the next event on 7 May, it was team captain Orrico who lived up to the expectations of the day before, arriving in third place in the Gran Premio Lugano in the 185-kilometre, 1.HC race held in Switzerland. The team captain stepped on to the podium, together with the winner, Filosi, and second in the classification, Frapporti, holding high the colours of the Continental team and finishing 17” from the lead pair after an outstanding race. This was Davide’s best result after turning “Pro” at the beginning of this season. Behind Orrico’s success was the fantastic teamwork, which closed the race with a seventh place by Francesco Manuel Bongiorno and the positions of Paolo Totò and Michele Gazzara among the first thirty.
With the captain’s success in the bag, the team’s season continued on two fronts, with the Tour of Albania, the most important national road race, and the Two-Day race in Castelfidardo.
The seven athletes named by Maurizio Frizzo for the Albanian stage race (UCI 2.2), Nicola Gaffurini, Michele Gazzara, Paolo Totò, Davide Orrico, Francesco Manuel Bongiorno, Michele Scartezzini and Niccolò Salvietti, were to take centre stage in an incredible tour, highlighting they are in exceptionally good shape.
Bongiorno and Gazzara showed great determination and pace in the decisive breakaway to end the first stage in third and fourth place, respectively.
The second stage led to Paolo Totò’s first success as a professional rider. A very special triumph for the Continental team by an athlete who is capable of improving still further. After an excellent start to the season with second place in the Gran Premio Laguna Porec, and numerous positions in the first ten, Totò finally succeeded in hitting the bull’s-eye with a demonstration of sheer strength along the Tour roads.
The highlight of the stage arriving in Elbasan was the breakaway by 15 riders, including Totò and Gaffurini, who were then whittled down to 5 in the final stretch.
The sprint saw Totò break away 250 metres from the finishing line to win in front of Zmorka and Pacchiardo.
This was the situation on the fourth day, a real turning point in the Tour, with Bongiorno third in the overall ranking, ready to hit hard.
In fact, the Calabrian came back after 3 years to cut the tape of the queen stage in Sarande, and wear the yellow jersey as leader of the general ranking.
A liberating victory, which drove away any pessimism and gave Bongiorno back his self-confidence, as he once again climbed the highest step on the podium, after remaining empty-handed since June 2014 with the stage he won at the Tour of Slovenia.
A splendid race by the entire team, first with Gazzara attacking alongside Tizza, and finally with the return of Bongiorno who spread his wings 3 km from the finishing line in a solitary breakaway.
Davide Orrico’s third place and Nicola Gaffurini’s fourth place completed the triumphant success for Maurizio Frizzo’s team.
The tour ended in Fier with the victory of the Piedmont rider, Davide Pacchiardo of GM Europa Ovini, which helped consolidatethe supremacy of Sangemini Mg.Kvis Olmo Vega, whose men kept every reaction by their adversaries under control in the final leg.
The final ranking was tinged with blue with Francesco Manuel Bongiorno winner of the Tour and team companion Michele Gazzara on the podium with the bronze medal.
An exciting tour which confirmed the good work achieved so far by the Team and by Olmo, which had returned to professional cycling and called up all its skills to provide the boys with a bike that would express the best, unrivalled Italian racing technology.