GP Industria & Artigianato
Larciano to Larciano
I wish I could say more about the GP Industria & Artigianato, which took place in Italy today while Paris-Nice got underway over the border. Coverage was light, so light in fact that the Sunday production team decided only two moments need avoid the cut.
On the face of it this looked like being an exciting race. First there was the parcour, the profile of which showed a calm, healthy lifestyle followed by four heart attacks.
Then there was the field itself. Nairo Quintana signed on, as did Vincenzo Nibali, Rigoberto Uran, Adam Yates, and last year’s winner Simon Clarke.
But the TV people probably got it right.
There was the preamble of course, which involved footage of Katusha-Alpecin’s Nils Politt, the last surviving breakaway rider, as we waited for his inevitable capture and the drama of the climbs.
Politt did what he could on his own, the weather making life a little more treacherous, but he was always fighting a losing battle. One can only imagine the anti-climactic scenes in the Alpecin shampoo offices, as the PR team had to content themselves with images of Politt’s backside, on it the only Alpecin logo not hidden by his rain cape.
But back to those two moments.
The first came with 45km to race. Facing another of the heart attacks, Rob Power, of Orica-Scott, went to the front and pounded his way uphill, making it clear that his pace would be the one others had to maintain. Few could manage it, including Davide Orrico of Sangemini – MG.Kvis, part of the early break away who was now being caught by this new attack. He who looked like a ghost in all white as they passed him, mouth wide open, trying to inhale his way uphill.
The next we knew we’d reached the second moment, with six kilometers left to race, and six riders, including Clarke, Yates, and Uran up front descending to the line. They all tried, but it would be Yates who pulled away to win it, his second GP title to add to that earned in 2014.
Yates celebrated with his teammates before making his way to the obligatory interview.
A local Italian journalist produced his microphone and Yates, polite and breathing heavily, gave his verdict on the day. He mentioned Power putting his foot down and then how he’d felt strong on the last climb, deciding at that point to “give it some welly”. While that didn’t get rid of the others ultimately he came good in the sprint.
You couldn’t help wonder what went through the mind of the interviewer, scrambling to fathom what the hell “welly” meant at the expense of a second or third question. Instead he cut his losses, thanked Yates, and put this one down to experience.
Which is about what we can say about the GP Industria & Artigianato.
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