Now the Tour of the Alps has come to an end, Sangemini – Mg.K Vis – Olmo is looking forward to the next meetings of the season with renewed enthusiasm. In Trentino, the lads were a true honour to the race, and the tour ended with Paolo Totò just one step away from the Red Jersey, a third place in the classification for the final sprint, and two Mountain GPs, thanks to to superb performances by Davide Orrico and Francesco Manuel Bongiorno.
The fortieth edition of the race, the first under the new name which replaces “Tour of Trentino”, began from Kufstein (Austria), ended in Trento (Italy), in 5 stages over a total of 783.2.km, and tested the athletes selected by Team Manager, Angelo Baldini, to the limit. Not only were their rivals top ranking cyclists, they also had to contend with five days of snow and cold.
This technically demanding route, featuring mainly a wide variety of hill climbs (10% gradient, 15,600 metres difference in height), true distinctive trait of this race, has seen the start of the 7-team World Tour, 7 Professionals and 3 Continentals.
The seal on the inaugural stage, Kufstein- Innsbruck, conquered in style by Michele Scarponi, could not predict the tragedy that was to hit a few days later. The stage featured various attempts at a breakaway and saw the Sangemini– Mg.K Vis – Olmo captain in the first breakaway group of the day.
Davide’s heroic performance was lost on the 3rd day of the Tour, after a second gruelling stage, hard-fought in snow and with an icy wind, arriving in Innervillgraten. The Sangemini captain broke away for 130 km of the race, 40 of which in complete solitude, and was the protagonist of a well-constructed leg, winning the Gran Premio della Montagna – Alpe Rodengo Zumis (1478 m asl), before being caught by the group in the final climb with the finishing post in Funes in sight. Instead, it was Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, who was to raise his hands skywards. Orrico closed in 51st place, 7’53” from the winner.
As his physical condition improved, Paolo Totò emerged in the fourth and fifth stage, and was able to prove his worth, always gaining points in the sprints. He was to end the race in 39th position at +25’02” from the winner, Thomas. Francesco Manuel Bongiorno, on the other hand, was to become protagonist of the first leg of the final day, managing to win his first MGP of the day at the Duron Pass.
Overall, the entire line-up was able to give another substantial group performance to establish itself as the first Continental team in the race.
A final thought in the name of Olmo and of all the staff of the Sangemini – Mg.K Vis – Olmo-Vega team goes to Michele Scarponi, a great professional and extraordinary man, who died the day after the end of the Tour in a road accident, whilst training in Filottrano, his home town. The thoughts of the Continental team are with his friends and family.