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A win by force: Bettiol takes the Milano-Torino 2024


What has emerged from the Milano-Torino 2024 is just how much of a gourmet Alberto Bettiol is, one of those riders who definitely prefer quality to quantity. The Tuscan of EF Education-EasyPost has been one of the most talked-about riders in Italy for at least five to six years, obviously due to that historic and somewhat surprising victory at the Tour of Flanders back in 2019, as well as for often being involved in battles usually reserved for the sacred monsters of modern cycling.

This is “just” his fifth victory as a professional, enriching a palmares that, despite being small in quantity, is nothing short of exceptional in terms of quality, given that it boasts the aforementioned 2019 Tour of Flanders and the Stradelle stage at the Giro d’Italia 2021, which he claimed after a solo action on the whole similar to the one he pulled off today. Then, in January last year, he won the first stage of the Tour Down Under, the very first WorldTour race of the year. Never trivial, never boring.

After 14 months of fasting, Bettiol has returned to victory in style, securing the oldest cycling race in the world. On a day that should, at least on paper, have favoured the faster wheels, the Tuscan took advantage of the great work done by UAE Team Emirates, who shredded the peloton from the very first slopes of the Prascorsano climb, and then attacked with about thirty kilometres to go, maintaining a gap of around thirty seconds on the ascent before giving everything on the following downhill section and in the last ten flat km. A stinging, decisive, unforgiving attack that found no solid response from any opponent.

Once the Bora-hansgrohe athletes managed to organise themselves, they chased him furiously and even had him in their sight. Then, with 2 km to go and only an 8-9 second delay, the energy of the German team ran out before Bettiol’s, who held back UAE’s final assaults and took home the MiTo. A solo ride of 28 km, a brilliant, audacious performance and a hell of a risk which totally paid off. Saturday is the Milano-Sanremo, and as the Italians say: “appetite comes with eating”…

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