Bortolami, a Bolt of Lighting at the Giro di Romagna
– Reported by Gazzetta.it –
LUGO, 8 September 2002 – To Gianluca Bortolami, this time, the victory doesn’t go to someone else: his sprint agianst Fabiano Fontanelli and Mauro Radaelli was clean and warranted his success at the Giro di Romagna, his first victory this season. It would have been his second had it not been for a near miss in the 7th stage of the Tour of Switzerland, beaten by Manuel Garate of the Lampre-Daikin team.
It was an ugly blow, for a season that was full of ambition but unsuccessful until today. “I wanted to do well in the World Cup – explained Borolami, 34 years old, to Gazzetta.it – The victory in Flanders last year should have relaunched me into world of the big riders, instead I’ve suffered immensely, and I didn’t go to the Tour at my best. However, I’m finishing with good sensations and now I’m collecting the fruit of a growing condition: I was 14th in Hamburg and 15th in Zurich, then 5th at the Due Giorni Marchigiana, 7th in the Giro del Veneto, 2nd alla Bernocchi and at Placci, Saturday. With this victory I have new hope of wearing the Maglia Azzura (National Team Jersey): It will be important to do well at my job, but the CT Ballerini knows that I am one who lives for his job and will do what is asked of me, ready to put my self at the disposition of his captain”.
Today, inversely, on the 199km from Bagnacavallo to Lugo, there had been teammates at his service. First of which was Dario Frigo, who had brought the race to everyone on the final three circuits around Lugo. It was a drag race that was determined on the final circuit characterized by the climb of Monte Albano, 4 km long at an average of 6%, the only deviation from a course made to resemble the World’s course. On the final ascent Bortolami went clear with teammates Frigo and Radaelli, and then Nardello, Scinto, Rastelli, Faresin, Tosatto, Mazzanti, Fontanelli, Girodani, Bernucci, O’Neill, Gasperoni, Cardenas, Serpellini, Sabaliauskas, and Giunti. Frigo raced the final circuit as if it were a time trial so that no one could escape the group, handing the race to Bortolami on a silver platter.