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Milano-Torino told in 5 dates: October 1, 2015


October 1, 2015 was a special day for a young climber named Diego Rosa.
The members of his fan club had travelled 50 kilometres from his hometown, Corneliano d’Alba, to the Basilica of Superga, to see him race with the Pros. They had waited at the roadside to root for him, expecting him to support his captain Fabio Aru along the stinging ramps of the two closing climbs. Whatever happened, they would have celebrated him anyway. Or so they thought.
What they actually witnessed was their ‘fellow townsman’ taking his first professional victory, by a good margin, and in the most iconic place of the entire Collina Torinese.

Since a double ascent of the Superga hill in the race finale was added in 2012, the route of Milano‑Torino became a celebration for pure climbers and powerful riders, with excitement guaranteed. While you can still stand a chance to beat the favourites with a single – although harsh – ascent, success prospects are poor with a double pass. And if we look back through the race’s history since 2012, the roll of honour says Alberto Contador, Diego Ulissi and Giampaolo Caruso.

Diego Rosa took it to the start line on 1 October 2015 as a trusted ally for Fabio Aru, who had finished in second at the Giro d’Italia that year, and who had conquered the GC at the Vuelta just a few days before. Majka, Poels, Martin, Visconti, Porte and Pinot were the other favourites.

Everything went according to plan, until the final kilometres: a break had escaped, and was ultimately brought back at the base of the first climb. Astana was pushing at the front, with Tiralongo and Rosa coming first through the Superga KOM, and one would have thought that Diego was there in anticipation of an attack by his captain. In his head, however, he already had it all figured out. He had already spoken with his team car and gotten a green light. He was drilling it for himself, not for Aru. He held Tiralongo’s wheel all along the descent and managed to stay with the best ones at the fore when the final 5 km started to sting the legs. Majka tried to kick clear, but Rosa brought him back swiftly, and when Villella attempted to escape, Vuillermoz, Moreno and Rosa chased him down, tirelessly.
His captain had been dropped at the back, while he was grinding away at the front. At that point, everybody started to realise that, perhaps, that could be his big day.

And it became even more obvious when Rosa jumped away from a hesitant peloton, 2,700 metres before the finish, powering to the line with no‑one in his wake.
For the members of his fan club, who had come there from Corneliano d’Alba early in the morning, what had started off as an already special day, even became memorable. That afternoon, their ‘fellow townsman’ conquered the hill of Superga, clinching his first professional victory, at once, before their eyes.

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