PROFESSIONALS | 06/08/2022 | 12:10

by Angelo Costa

There is an air of Tour in Bologna. And not only because by the end of the year the direction of the yellow race will formalize the great start of 2024 with three stages between the Two Towers and Florence. To breathe the climate of France in advance will be the tour of Emilia, classic that has nothing to envy to the great international cycling events, for history and organizational quality: the edition of next October 1st could re-propose the confrontation between the Danish Jonas Vingegaard and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, duel that made the last Tour extraordinary. And this already explains enough the value of our home race.

San Luca in yellow hues: both Vingegaard, entered for the first time in the roll of honor of the French race, and Pogacar, second this year after two consecutive victories, are expected at the start of the classic that Adriano Amici’s Gs Emilia has raised to very high levels, worthy of its tradition. It will not be an unprecedented duel even on these roads: a year ago the Dane closed his first participation in twelfth place, after having contributed to the success of his teammate Roglic, while the Slovenian concluded the test early in order not to tire too much in view of Lombardy, then won.

However, that Pogacar remained in the memory of the many fans present: at the last of his passages at the Orfanelle, to respond to the affection of the people, the child prodigy made a stretch of the hard climb by wheeling the front wheel of the bike, while raising the level of enthusiasm.

There is already certainty of Pogacar’s presence: it was the Slovenian’s team that announced immediately after the Tour that Taddeo would not have raced in the Vuelta, preferring a calendar oriented towards World Championship and classics, including the tour of Emilia. The presence of Vingegaard is still lacking the official, but the probability of seeing him at the start are high: with Roglic still uncertain about his return to racing after the incident in the Tour, the Dane becomes the point man for Lombardy, closed one year ago in the first fifteen, and Bologna would be an almost mandatory test. In addition, there is a special link between the last king of the Tour and the races of Adriano Amici: it was in one of the races of Gs Emilia, the Coppi and Bartali, that the boy who grew up at the fish market revealed himself in all its qualities in 2021, winning the two hardest stages and conquering the final success.

Vingegaard against Pogacar: history should repeat itself in San Luca. Waiting for it to come back in two years, again in Emilia, but this time at the start of another Tour, a race in which the two strongest cyclists of the moment promise to fight for a long time. The premises of a historic first time in Italy are all there, the signs are not lacking: three months ago an emissary of the French organization carried out a series of inspections in the possible places of arrival and departure. That there is an air of Tour in Bologna as early as October 1st, in short, would not be new.

from Il Resto del Carlino

Copyright & copy TBW

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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