Two Italian Autumn Classics are on the race calendar for Team Bahrain Victorious this week: the GranPiemonte, scheduled on Thursday, October 5th, from Borgofranco d’Ivrea to Favria (152km), and the much-anticipated last monument of the season, Il Lombardia, running from Como to Bergamo (238km), on Saturday, 7th.
The same squad will face both races, with adjustments in rider roles across the two races, although the 107th edition of the GranPiemonte features a hilly course that can turn out to be selective for sprinters, giving a chance for the climbers to shine.
The peloton will ride through the Canavese region and take on four consecutive climbs and technical roads packed in a 74km circuit, starting after passing under the finish line, an unprecedented cycling location.
“Up to that moment, the course is flat, and we can expect the race will explode on the tough climb at 30km to go”, TBV Sports Directors Alberto Volpi and Roman Kreuziger explain. “If the race will become hard, we believe that Antonio Tiberi can have a good opportunity. We will try to take a top 5 result with him. Otherwise, we have Nicolò Buratti as a joker. If he survives the climbs and the gap won’t be too much for him to catch the front of the race in the finale, he is our fast man, and he recently showed good qualities at CROrace.
Our stars Mikel Landa and Santiago Buitrago are back to racing after La Vuelta. Therefore, this race will be like a warmup ahead of Il Lombardia. They will give their precious support to our leader and joker for this race, and they ride saving energy for the last Monument of the season.
We expect it will be an intensive race. In the final, there will be around 50 riders for the sprint unless the challenging second part favours the attackers, with a quartet or quintet managing to stay out until the finish.”
The lineup is completed by Andrea Pasqualon, road captain for GranPiemonte, Hermann Pernsteiner and Edoardo Zambanini, both back to racing after several weeks, who will support throughout the day and be attentive for the breakaways.
After GranPiemonte, TBV will move to the Lombardy region, the location of the last Monument Classic of the year, Il Lombardia, which, in the alternation of the host cities, will see the start in Como and the finish in Bergamo, following a demanding route, with over 4400 meters of altitude gain. The toughest of the Classics features traditional climbs such as the legendary Madonna del Ghisallo, Roncola, Berbenno, Passo della Crocetta, Zambla Alta, Passo di Ganda, and the iconic route climbing up to the upper city (Città Alta), and then the descent towards the finish in the heart of Bergamo. A course similar to the 2021 edition, when Santiago Buitrago debuted in the race.
“I’m happy to return to racing after La Vuelta for the last competitions of my season, and I want to end it in the best way possible. In GranPiemonte, I will give my support, and I’m looking forward, especially to Il Lombardia. We want to be competitive to get a nice result on a course that suits our captain, Mikel, and me. I’m motivated, and my teammates as well.”
The Colombian has the prestigious 2023 Liège-Bastogne-Liège podium in his monumental tally, and together with Mikel Landa, 3rd in Il Lombardia last year, will be our stars on Saturday to try to clinch another podium for Bahrain Victorious on the “Classic of the Falling Leaves”.