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Re: The Academy of Cycling
« Reply #90 on: July 21, 2016, 18:51 »
It wasn't that much of a surprise that the run of success didn't continue at Valle d'Aosta. Tough weather, tough opposition and a tough parcour along with an inexperienced line-up.

The TTT actually went okay with a mid-field finish, but I wouldn't draw too much from that. The other four days it was more about survival (and survival is no mean feat, as a comparison nobody from Team Ecaudor finished last year).

Surprisingly it was probably the two least experienced riders who made it to the finish. Yechezkel was in the break on stage two, but got dropped fairly early and then DNFed the next day. Sagiv and Malovec were (pointlessly?) sacrificed on the penultimate day in an effort to get Hadari and Goldstein in a good position on the final climb, which they succeeded in doing, but were DNFs themselves.

But they all felt , in a way, that this experience will make them better riders. Every one of them faced moments of crisis and did not succumb. In the last climb of the 3rd stage, somebody crashed into Sagiv's bike and it took eternity till he got a new bike from the natural car. And it turned up to have the wrong pedals. He never gave up, battling "the thoughts climb I ever faced " - and made it.

Zohar, who had his ups and downs this year, recalled the longest moments of facing the last climb of the whole tour. " It was 20 percent at some point... and the only thing I was thinking about is , just don't give up now. Don't break to pieces now. I was so relieved when I made it. I think that it brought me to a new level".

Omer Goldstein, echoed those words. He was, no doubt, the most pleasant surprise. Just joined the team. Just 19. "I was very impressed by Omer" said our sports director Matteo Algeri. " To face the hardest race in your first steps as a pro, especially when you are so young - is very impressive".

Omer crashed in the 4 stage and suffered mightily. But he made it. " In the last climb, Zohar was talking and encouraging me" he recalled. " That helped me so much... I am grateful that I experienced this and have no doubt that we will come back here much stronger next year. Not only me. All of us"!

I don't want to rain on his parade, but only Omer himself will be young enough next year to compete, so without some young transfers this could be one-off visit to Aosta.

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