SILVELLE. The Italian championships were enthralling, uncertain and exciting— from start to finish. The challenge, won by Gioele Bertolini, was made even more spectacular by Luca and Daniele Braidot, the twins from Friuli and members of the Centro Sportivo Carabinieri, who battled like gladiators against their adversaries and adversities for the entire race. The official photo of these two Italian cyclists shows Luca, third behind Bertolini and Fontana, but kudos also to his brother Daniele, who came in a close fourth.
The icy terrain in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe, in the province of Padua, was the venue for the debut by the C.S. Carabinieri, who take over from the G.S. Forestale Cicli Olympia Vittoria. New group, same substance and still backed by its “traditional” sponsors Cicli Olympia and Vittoria for the entire Olympic four-year period.
This was no defensive race for the Braidot brothers, quite the contrary. Luca was the first to accelerate violently, putting a good distance between himself and those behind him. This talent from Gorizia (lest we forget, seventh and best Italian in the Olimpic MTB trial in Rio) was looking for a hard race, but things did not quite go as he planned. “After a bottleneck I decided to push it, and managed to put some distance between me and the others, then however I hit an obstacle because, just as I was about to clear it, my chain came off,” says Luca Braidot. I got back on pretty fast and while I was catching up, I hit a hole, my handlebars dropped and I had to change bikes. I’d lost all my advantage, but I didn’t lose heart and got back up with the leaders for the finale, together with Daniele. A place on the winners’ podium is always a great result, I am happy with how it turned out."
Luca Braidot also gained approval for a noble gesture made just a few metres from the finish line: on the final straight he slowed to give Fontana a push, who had just fallen, towards his second place.
RANKINGS FOR ELITE MEN ITALIAN CYCLOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017.
1. Gioele Bertolini (Centro Sportivo Esercito) 57:11.7
2. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) at 5″
3. Luca Braidot (Centro Sportivo Carabinieri) at 6″
4. Daniele Braidot (Centro Sportivo Carabinieri) at 7″
5. Stefano Capponi (Pro Bike Riding Team) at 9″
6. Cristian Cominelli (Prd Sport Factory Team) at 12″
7. Enrico Franzoi (Wilier Force Squadra Corse) at 17″
8. Thomas Paccagnella (Team Damil – GT Trevisan) at 21″
9. Nicolas Samparisi (KTM Selle Smp Alchemist Dama) at 38″
10. Marco Ponta (Trentino Cross – Selle Smp) at 1’23”