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"I congratulate him as he deserved this win a lot, especially if you remember what happened on Zoncolan in stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia," Rossato says

Photo: Sirotti




21.06.2014 @ 23:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Less than a month ago Francesco Bongiorno saw his chances of taking a magical first pro win on the Monte Zoncolan getting crushed by a stupid fan. Today he took his revenge when he won the queen stage of the Tour de Slovenie.


A few weeks ago the entire cycling world raged when a stupid cycling fan crushed Francesco Bongiorno’s hopes of winning the big mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia that finished on the top of the Monte Zoncolan. Today he took his revenge when he won the queen stage of the Tour de Slovenie, the first professional victory of his short career.


One day after his teammate Sonny Colbrelli had won a stage, Bongiorno emerged as one of the strongest climbers in the race when the queen stage came to an end on a hard climb to the finish in Trije Kralji. Together with Tiago Machado and Ilnur Zakarin (Rusvelo), he escaped on the final ascent and the trio combined forces to put more than 30 seconds into their nearest chasers.


In the end, it all came down to a sprint between those three riders and here Bongiorno was the strongest. He put 1 second into Machado while Zakarin struggled in the finale and lost 7 seconds to the stage winner. 29 seconds later Matteo Rabottini (Neri Sottoli) and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) crossed the line to complete the top 5.


”It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling," Bongiorno said. "The first pro win is something unique and I guess it is unrepeatable. After the Giro d’Italia I have trained very well because I wanted be competitive here and later at the Italian Championships.


"Yesterday in the finale I felt the legs were very good and today we made a great race with my teammates . On the final climb I saw that Machado was brilliant so when he attacked I followed him quickly. We were only three in the last km, I waited until the last 200m to go and I won. Great!"


”When the guys race as they have done the last two days there is nothing to say other than congratulate them and feel honored to manage them," sports director Mirko Rossato said. "Manuel and all the team were again super. They have a strong relationship and this helped a lot during the race to be a really united team.


"Today we were confident in our chance, Bongiorno knew it and he was very patient to wait till the last km to attack, but at the same time really strong to follow the pace of riders that will go to the Tour de France in a few weeks, like Machado. I congratulate him as he deserved this win a lot, especially if you remember what happened on Zoncolan in stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia."



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