Portugal has often formed the backdrop of the Wilier Journal articles. This is a country that stands out from the rest when it comes to cycling. And indeed, it is in Portugal that the Wilier Triestina – Pirelli Factory Team won its second European title in two weeks.
On Sunday, 19 June, Fabian Rabensteiner won the European Marathon in the Elite category. And on Sunday, 3 July, Simone Avondetto succeeded in completing his quest for the European XCO Championship in the U23 category, begun a year ago in Novi Sad.
Fabian Rabensteiner after the finish line of the European Marathon Championship
At the end of the seven laps of the tough Anadia circuit, Simone was finally able to wear the long-awaited white jersey with blue stripes and yellow stars, leaving behind British Charlie Alridge despite a remarkable comeback.
“With coach Mirko Celestino, we decided not to opt for a tactical race, but to adopt my usual racing style. On the third lap I reached and overtook Janis (Janis Baumann, Avondetto’s Swiss club mate, Ed.) and obtained a fair advantage. From them on I tried to keep a constant pace, but I must admit, it wasn’t easy. The last two laps were hard, I had to call on all my energy resources to keep the pace, but now I am finally European champion.”
Avondetto’s performance during the race shows how much the Piedmontese athlete has grown in tactical terms, as confirmed by the utmost freedom granted to him in Anadia by the national team coach, as well as fuelling the hope that Simone may make it into the elite category.
But for the Wilier Triestina – Pirelli Factory Team, Simone Avondetto’s sweep to victory is not the only source of satisfaction this season. Janis Baumann took third place on the under-23 podium and having recently turned twenty, can confidently hope to – one day – climb to the highest step on the podium.
Another important achievement for the team was the bronze medal won by Giada Specia in the counterpart female race.
“I pursued this bronze medal with all my might. I am extremely pleased, but I am already thinking about the World Championships. Because this is turning out to be a really great season, and at Les Gets I hope to confirm the good work done so far this year.”
Needless to say, in addition to seeing the Italian flag flutter at the awards ceremonies, imagining three URTA SLRs stand virtually on the podium, alongside Simone, Janis and Giada, warms the cockles of our hearts and gives us great confidence in the future.
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