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The Power of Watts


Jonathan Milan a San Salvo, Giro d'Italia 2023

Just take a close look at him: 194 cm in height and 84 kg radiating power from every pore. Jonathan Milan is one of those riders you instantly spot in the bunch, standing out for both his physique and elegance. If we then think that he is Olympic, World and European track champion in the team pursuit, it is easy to guess that that size serves as a body for a jaw-dropping engine. 

So far, as mentioned, Jonny has mainly performed in velodromes halfway around the world, and in the individual pursuit, he is currently second only to compatriot Filippo Ganna. Managing to transfer this talent from the track to the road, however, is far from easy, because one thing is to unleash your power in a 4-kilometer test, another is to excel after 200 km and nearly 5 hours in the saddle. 

Milan got off to a successful start late last year when he won two stages at the CRO Race, and then earlier this year when he swept past a lightning bolt like Dylan Groenewegen in the middle of the desert at the Saudi Tour. Early signs of a talent ready to blossom.

Before this Giro d’Italia, which, it’s worth remembering, is the first Grand Tour of his career, the Friulian, class of 2000, cut his teeth between Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix and cobbled classics, working hard for his teammates and, it must be said, suffering a lot, perhaps more than expected. In between, however, he made his way to Grenchen to win a European championship in both the individual and team pursuit.

He came to this Giro d’Italia with the absolute trust of Bahrain Victorious which, for the sprints, decided to bet everything on him, backed by his mentor Andrea Pasqualon. And, at the first chance, Milan made his mark, obliterating the competition with an eye-watering, all-watt sprint. Now he finds himself in the Maglia Ciclamino jersey, and with a whole Giro ahead of him, which he will be able to ride and possibly enjoy without the stress of having to prove anything. 

And the Italians are rubbing their hands together. It was since Giulio Ciccone in 2016 that such a young Italian rider had not won a stage at the Giro, and if talking sprints, we have to go all the way back to legend Mario Cipollini and 1989. 

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