At international level, this guy had never won a single race nor stepped up on a podium, and not only among the pros, but also at U23 and junior level. But today, Davide Bais decided to break into mainstream cycling straight through the front door: the Giro d’Italia. The Trentino rider won at Campo Imperatore, on the finish line that had previously crowned Marco Pantani, in 1999, and Simon Yates, in 2018.
Who knows if this morning, while lining up at the start in Capua, he would have even remotely imagined himself fighting for victory on a finish like this, he who is not even a pure climber. Usually, in stages such as Capua-Campo Imperatore, it is not at all impossible for a breakaway to arrive, perhaps a big one featuring a whole array of big names who dropped out of the GC in favour of stage hunting. Instead, only four riders got the green light: Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa), Henok Mulubrhan (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè), Karel Vacek (Team Corratec-Selle Italia) and Simone Petilli (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty).
“4 of them? Forget about it” almost everyone thought. Instead, their margin quickly rose to 12 minutes and remained so until well into the last 50 km, when it slowly began to shrink, also due to the loss of Mulubrhan, who raised white flag on Roccaraso ascent. At that point, Bais really began to believe in it, but with him was Petilli, a pure climber way more accustomed to efforts like the one required by the Gran Sasso d’Italia.