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Giro Next Gen: Artz, a splendid day


Since everyone has used the title of a Vasco Rossi song to celebrate the victory of Huub Artz in Zocca, hometown of Italy’s biggest rock star, we do so too and choose “Una splendida giornata” (A splendid day). As a matter of fact, the sun shone in the Modena Apennines and a gentle breeze made it a perfect day for bike riding. A splendid day for a splendid stage.

For the first time in this Giro Next Gen 2024, a breakaway made it to the end, as fully predicted on the eve of the race. After a first hour sprinted away at an average speed of 53 km/h, eight riders earned their chance to compete for stage win: Alessandro Romele (Astana Qazaqstan Development Team), Alessandro Borgo (CTF Victorious), Noa Isidore (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Development Team), Lorenzo Peschi (General Store – Essegibi – F. Lli Curia), Samuele Privitera (Hagens Berman Jayco), Luca Dreßler (Team Lotto Kern-Haus PSD Bank), Callum Thornley (Trinity Racing) and Huub Artz (Wanty – ReUz – Technord).

With a delay of up to six minutes, it became clear that the peloton was out of the game today: on the final climb to Zocca, Artz tried to attack for the first time, with only Privitera and Thornley holding his wheel. Then, with 5km to go, he attacked again and powered to a solo victory.

Artz is a rider who, earlier this year, managed to finish third among the pros on the Green Mountain, the Alpe d’Huez of the Tour of Oman, then won the Ghent-Wevelgem U23 and today took another uphill finish. “I don’t really know yet what kind of rider I am. After Pian della Mussa and Fosse, however, I became convinced that climbs are not really my thing, I would define myself more as a rider for classics. Then, if I feel good, I also enjoy the climbs, but today I was with riders who broke away on the flat, so not exactly climbers”.

Next year he’ll turn pro, though: “The impression I got was that the level here was even higher than in some professional races, but maybe it’s because I wasn’t feeling well, and the racing here is totally unpredictable and we hardly ever slow down”.

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