The winner of the Stradella stage: “Flanders changed my life but it was hard to recover. With humility I look for continuity “
STRADELLA. “No, I did not speak to the coach Cassani who followed us on the Rai bike while I was on the run”. Then the king of the Stradella stage, the eighteenth before the final storm of the Giro, specifies: “Talking to Davide did not help, he saw that I was going fast and then he is one who always talks to us. He trusts us, we trust him. Of course I want to go to the Olympics, that’s my goal. I won the Tour of Flanders so in the big races over 200 km I am asserting myself ”.
Alberto Bettiol, 27 years old from Castel Fiorentino, runs for Educational First. He is a great talent of Italian cycling, you can see from how he describes himself. He always repeats in the press conference reserved for the stage winner of the Giro this concept: “My physical values are good, everyone knows them, but continuity …”. This is what the Tuscan is missing. He knows it.
He also knows how hard it was to get out of a hangover like the Flanders victory in 2019. “I didn’t win that race by chance – he repeats – all the technicians know it. But then that race weighed on me, it changed my life. I always pretended to have great legs and to win only by having great legs. I couldn’t win despite going strong and then everyone was waiting for me at the gate ”.
He then discovered a typical habit of those who follow the sort in Italy Bettiol. “My team has always believed in me and not those who got on the winner’s wagon and then got off”. Precise, precise the Tuscan. And again: “I am human. I have a lot of flaws I have tried to correct them. My team has always believed in me, but I had to prove a lot to myself. In short, I was not prepared for a victory like that of Flanders at 25. This victory in the Giro shows that those who believed in me have always been right ”.
A head victory for the stradella, Bettiol repeats it over and over again: “The head always counts, especially in the third week of a great lap. We are all in this together. I could only give up and let the French Cavagna go on to win the stage, instead I tried the penultimate classroom head climb and, since my team had left me free to do my race, I wanted to run it fully and not disappoint it. I knew that I went faster uphill. I had the mental strength to snap in the face of my rival when I reached him, I wanted to “destroy” him mentally but precisely because the legs are gone after 230 km and so much heat that we are no longer used to, “he said.
Bettiol wins little, with that of Stradella is the third success in his career. The Flanders monument 2019, a stage in a minor race in France in 2020. “You don’t know how angry those who follow me are for those few results I bring home. But I always wanted to win when I was at the top, as a superhero. I didn’t understand that you also have to do it with leg pain. Cycling is a humble sport, I have to fight while remaining humble. I grew up on bread and Giro and for me a stage victory in the pink race is worth gold, now I will finish the race by returning to help my captain Carthy ”.