Matteo Rabottini’s victory is a realisation of a big talent, says team manager
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Matteo Rabottini’s victory is a realisation of a big talent, says team manager

by Ben Atkins at 12:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider and management have been aiming at such a stage since the winter

matteo rabottiniMatteo Rabottini’s dramatic stage victory on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, after a 150km breakaway through the mountains of Lombardy, came as a surprise to many, but not to Farnese Vini team manager Luca Scinto. The performance is a realisation of an emerging Italian talent, the Tuscan former rider thinks, who has hit a target that the team first took aim at over the winter months.

“We were sure that Rabottini could done special things, and we worked since this winter for that,” said Scinto. “I'm too happy, we are a small team with a big heart, as today we demonstrated. I hope that this success, important for us, it will also for our sponsors and fan.”

The victory came just three days after Scinto had publicly berated his riders for missing out on the breakaway on stage 12; the team fruitlessly chased for a few kilometres before resigning itself to missing out. Rabottini himself was in the break on stage seven, and was the last to be caught on the final climb to the Rocca di Cambio, while a number of other Farnese Vini-Selle Italia riders - notably Alfredo Balloni and Francesco Failli - have been involved in breakaways.

So far though - as sprint prodigy Andrea Guardini struggled in his first Giro, following crashes in the early stages, and the team’s leader Filippo Pozzato abandoned with a fractured bone in his wrist - the team had just Balloni’s four days in the blue mountains jersey, and a fifth place for Elia Favilli to show for its Giro.

This was until Rabottini escaped with AG2R La Mondiale’s Guillaume Bonnafond in the first 18km of yesterday’s rainy stage, left the Frenchman behind on the first climb, and soloed to the finish.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Rabottini. “During the winter we worked with Scinto for this goal. We dreamed this last week of the Giro, and this type of  finish, and I'm so happy for this day.”

As he was tiring in the final kilometres Rabottini was steadily being reeled in by both a group of breakaway riders, and the overall favourites as the front of the peloton approached. He was eventually caught by Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez, but managed to hold on to the Catalan’s wheel, and outsprinted him at the finish.

Rodríguez knew that he was assured of retaking the Maglia Rosa, whatever the stage result, and had the class to not try to sprint too hard against the young Italian and deny the race one of its most dramatic finishes.

“The last kilometre was infinite,” Rabottini explained. “When Rodriguez took me I thought that the stage was mine, and I made one last effort to win. I don't know if he didn't the sprint, and I'm not in interest for this. I know only that I win, and I'm too happy!

“I need to tell thanks to my team, my sponsor and all my family, to whom I dedicate this success,” he added, “in particular to my son, who will arrive in the coming weeks.”

As well as the stage victory, having been first over every climb of the stage, Rabottini also took the blue mountains jersey, which he now intends to hold as long as possible. With the race heading into the Dolomites at the end of the week however, this will be a big ask indeed.


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