Giro d’Italia: Eros Capecchi finally begins to live up to his potential
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giro d’Italia: Eros Capecchi finally begins to live up to his potential

by Ben Atkins at 6:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Stage eighteen winner disappointed not to be competing for white jersey

eros capecchiFor the second day in succession the Giro d’Italia stage was decided by a breakaway, and once again the victory went to a young Italian rider: Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) taking his first ever victory in the race. Despite having been a professional since the second half of 2005, and having been one of the outstanding Italian juniors of his generation, the stage was just the third victory of the 24-year-old’s career, after a stage and the overall classification of the 2008 Euskal Bizikleta.

Liquigas-Cannondale was one of the few major teams to not be represented in the breakaway the day before; although this had not been the plan for Capecchi’s team.

“Yesterday [stage seventeen – ed] it was planned that I would try to get into the breakaway, but I couldn’t,” he explained “But during the race I had good feelings, while helping Vincenzo [Nibali] on the climb.”

As a strong rider, and a stage race specialist, it had been expected by many that Capecchi would have been challenging for the young riders’ white jersey competition. This has not been the case though, and he currently sits in tenth place in the competition, a little over an hour down on Roman Kreuziger (Astana).

“Up to this point my Giro has been below expectations,” he admitted, “especially in the mountains. I was not even involved in the early stages to help Nibali at the right times, but it is my greatest regret not being able to fight for the Maglia Bianca.

“Although I don’t know if I could wear it anyway,” he added, “because it is on the shoulders of a certain Kreuziger; a great athlete.”

Because the first half of the short stage was ridden at such a high pace, it took a long time for the breakaway of nineteen riders to escape. After missing out on the previous day though, Capecchi was determined, and finally made it into the group that escaped as the race passed through Bergamo.

“I tried two or three times,” he said, “but it seemed like a haunted stage. We went close to 50kph for an hour and I thought the escape would only be able to get away on the Ganda climb. In any case, once away, I said I would make it to the finish in any event, even if it meant dying of fatigue.”

Capecchi was one of the most dominant juniors in Italy, but since turning professional has so far not delivered on that apparent promise.

“I’ve had problems but when things go plan that everyone seems to forget that,” he said in his own defence. “Today is an incredible feeling; unforgettable.

“Being a stage race rider, so far I have been unable to live up to my potential,” he explained, “although in ten-day races I am very competitive. Riders peak at different times; some win at 21 years old, someone else at 24 and others at 28. From my own point of view, I can say I'm pretty agile and smooth, but I need to improve in time trials to be truly competitive in stage races.

“We will see [what happens] in the future,” he added.

Capecchi signed a full contract with his current Liquigas team as a 19-year-old back in 2006, after having stagiered there in 2005. He only stayed for two years though, riding for Scott-American Beef (which became Fuji-Servetto, then Footon-Servetto, and is now the Geox-TMC team), before rejoining the green, white and blue team again this year. As a potential Italian superstar though, Capecchi denied that the expectation put on his at such a young age was too much for him.

“I can say I haven’t noticed these external pressures,” he said. “I already have my own, and I am happy that they motivate me. I consider myself a winner, I always won a lot and I do not hide.”


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