Tour, speaks Gianni Bugno, twice winner on the mythical peak
Gianni Bugno is the only Italian cyclist together with Marco Pantani to have won twice at the top of Alpe d’Huez. It happened in 1990 and 1991. In front of Greg Lemond and Miguel Indurain, to give the measure of the value of those timeless companies. The Monza champion was also the first Italian to conquer the climb par excellence of the Tour de France after Fausto Coppi. The name of the Campionissimo is the first ever in this prestigious roll of honor. The climb, scheduled for tomorrow, will fall on the 70th anniversary of the debut of Alpe d’Huez at the Grande Boucle, dated 1952. And it is precisely that unique link with the myths of cycling that makes the climb unique in the memory of those who known to tame as a triumph. Next could be Tadej Pogacar.
Bugno, what makes Alpe d’Huez special?
«The fact that it is always decisive for the Tour. Whoever wins there also leaves his mark in the general classification. It is crucial. This pushes everyone to want to be protagonists on those hairpin bends. This time it will take place on July 14th, making the situation even more special for the French ».
Does the climb have something unique also on an environmental level?
«The audience is very warm. But almost always on the alpine climbs there are many fans. Also at the Giro d’Italia. Then there are other factors: the great heat, the hairpin bends and the hardness of the ascent ».
Are there any points that remain in the memory?
“The first part. It is the most delicate because it has the greatest slopes. So you have to be concentrated from the first ramps to attack it in the best way without letting yourself be surprised ».
How much satisfaction is there when you think back to your two successes 30 years later?
“I just remember that I wanted to make a difference and I succeeded. I was particularly fond of it. I always liked it because I knew that if I did well there, I would arrive in a good position in Paris ».
Will tomorrow be yet another great day in Pogacar?
“It has no rivals. He does what he wants. And to say that for now he has limited himself to acting as a remittance. He is an enthusiastic runner, it is a pity that no one can keep up with him. With this Pogacar the result is almost obvious. This takes away the beauty of the race. But let’s wait because the hard climbs haven’t started yet ».
Can anyone be a protagonist among the Italians?
“No, I’m honest. The only one could be Damiano Caruso. This is not a good time for our cycling. And I don’t see any talent on the horizon. Don’t ask me why. I’m just an observer now. This question should be addressed to technicians, teams and the Federation ».
It will be the first time on Alpe d’Huez after the bad episode of 2018 when a fan knocked Vincenzo Nibali down causing him a serious injury.
«Once more we must ask people not to stay too close to the riders on the climbs. At this moment there is an additional reason: Covid. With infections on the climb, it is better to avoid any unnecessary contact ». –
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