The 18-year-old Catalan dominates the two Easter classics 24 hours later. Historical encore: the last was Popovyc 20 years ago
Mas que un corredor. Yes, Juan Ayuso is a phenomenon: 24 hours after the bang at the Piva Trophy, the 18-year-old Spaniard also takes the Giro del Belvedere. Same script: lethal razor uphill, triumph in solitude. If in Col San Martino the penultimate dent of San Vigilio is decisive, in the other international Under 23 of Villa di Villa the resolving action takes shape on the hardest stretch of the second and last ascent of Montaner: the rising star of Colpack-Ballan , which in 2022 will land in the World Tour with the Emirates of Pogacar (four-year contract), demonstrates an overwhelming superiority and the most accredited rivals do not even try to mend.
La Marca launches it into orbit: the last double in the two internationals dates back to 20 years ago and was signed by the Ukrainian Jaroslav Popovyc. Back on the calendar after two years, the two Easter classics give themselves a winner of absolute value, confirming their pedigree: among the ups and downs of Combai and Cordignano, future champions stand out. «I knew I was the strongest», Ayuso declares after the coup at the Belvedere, «I attacked where I could have done more harm». But who is Ayuso? A little guy who didn’t let himself be tempted by the Camp Nou in Barcelona. He has not chosen football or basketball, but in the history of cycling he promises to play a role of the first magnitude. Even if the most attentive had already got an idea with the recent placings between the pros at Coppi and Bartali (fifth and sixth in two stages, top 20 overall), Ayuso designates the Treviso streets for the first Under 23 successes – he is in his first year in the category – and for a heavy confirmation of his talent. Originally from the capital of Catalonia, he was junior road and time trial national champion in 2020. And, in fact, he is forging ahead.
In the wake of many phenomena that have exploded in the last two years: from Evenepoel to the future companion Pogacar, capable of breaking the 2020 Tour. Ayuso collects applause at the Piva with the overbearing attack at less than 20 km on the penultimate stretch of San Vigilio, an initiative that allows him to suck the fugitive Lipowitz and triumph in the manner of the strongest. Bread for his teeth the tremendous 600 meters of the Col San Martino steep, inserted for the first time in 2019 with its brutal features at 20%. A deadly action that soon makes a void, so much so that the opponents see him again at the new finish line in via Giarentine. Not unlike the epilogue at the Belvedere: here the attack launches it about ten kilometers from the finish, on the most severe ramps of the Montaner. The descent serves to guarantee him a smooth finish. “I started with football and I’m a big fan of Barcelona”, he tells tuttobiciweb, “Then a friend of mine pushed me to try cycling: I liked it right away”. Fortunately, one would add. –