VAL DI ZOLDO
The racing bicycle, a Slavic horse (Vior), the wood gorge for the winter in the forests 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 to do it Vincenzo Nibali, 2016) a super stage of the Giro d’Italia by beating a frank and courageous man like him, which Thibaut Pinot raising goats in the Haute-Saône.
After three seasons on the self-sufficient train of the Emilian Bardiani team, Zana boarded Jayco-Alula’s Freccia Rossa in January. “I owe a lot to Bardiani – he explains – but in a second tier team, which only participates by invitation, you don’t know until the last moment where you will compete. It’s not easy to live in uncertainty. I knew that training at altitude is good, but I had to do it alone or with a willing companion, to Pordoi or Livigno where it is freezing cold in spring. Jayco brought us all to Sierra Nevada: perfect weather, trainers, dietitians 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 about a discreet and not brilliant time trialist – explains Pinotti – and therefore not suitable for stage races. Our tests, on the other hand, produced excellent numbers and in the time trial Filippo improved a lot with some adjustments to the position. The fact that he is going so fast in the third week also means that he is recovering well. Cycling is not a certainty, but he is on the right track». In an Italy looking for a man for the podium in a Grand Tour, if not the new Nibali, Zana at 24 years old is a valuable resource.
What is he missing? «That self-confidence – explains Pinotti – that serves to survive in a hostile environment like high-level professionalism. For example, we bet on the Bergamo stage to get away and try to win. As he jumped away, the same old bullying wingman from a big team interrupted him and ordered him to stop because he thought too many were already on the run. Goofy hit the brakes. At the finish, I reminded him that he’s wearing the tricolor jersey: next time that happens, send the bully to hell and run away».
Yesterday Zana also gained the confidence of the Australian team who, right up to the penultimate climb, were ready to hold him back to help Captain Dunbar, something he as a loyal follower would have accepted without a word. The unfortunate order of the flagship has fortunately not arrived, Italian cycling thank you very much.
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