Cycling, World Pagellone: ​​Generational Ganna, van Aert disappointment, fabulous Tony Martin

Bruges and Lovanio, Lovanio and Bruges. In the last week of our cycling enthusiast lives, these two names have carpeted every corner of our brains. First the time trial in Bruges (starting from Knokke-Heist) and after the circuit in Leuven. Two places, 11 races and a world championship that exuded passion from every pore. Only the elite class had participated in Imola, while in the homeland of cycling everyone took to the field. By Pippo Ganna, who took another piece of our heart, a Julian Alaphilippe, splendid and inimitable. From Elisa Balsamo, who crowned a perfect race, to Filippo Baroncini, whom we will hear about for a long time. From the new Danish school, to a Holland and a Belgium that it was legitimate to ask for more. Especially for the audience, which gave us goosebumps.

I was relaxed, but I didn’t think I could repeat myself (Alaphilippe)

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Filippo Ganna … 10: generational

Perhaps too much has already been said about Filippo Ganna. A cyclist like that, even in a traditional country like ours, passes by once in a while. At Imola we knew he would make holes in the ground, but in the time trial in Bruges we were afraid. We feared that distance could stop him. But the great champions go beyond the difficulties. They go beyond everything. His gold medal shines with the same light that illuminates his good boy eyes. And the bronze one in the mixed relay tells of how a champion can pull a whole group of athletes who want to be at his level. He is a generational champion, one of those who pass and leave their mark. Let’s enjoy it.

Ganna puts on the world champion jersey again: Mameli’s anthem

Elisa Balsamo and the women’s team … 10: “even if someone didn’t believe it”

“You know you’re strong, even if someone didn’t believe it.” Someone didn’t believe in Elisa Balsamo. He did not believe in the girl born in Cuneo in 1998. And he probably didn’t even believe in the Italian team on the eve of the elite test. And when do you beat Holland in the online test? Instead, the long tail of the most legendary Italian summer ever gave us yet another success. Because the Italian girls ran like princesses, and Elisa Balsamo was their queen. A perfect tactic, and a masterpiece that shines even more after 10 years from Giorgia Bronzini.

Balm in triumph, Holland surrenders: the highlights

The U23s and Filippo Baroncini … 10: perfect

Filippo Baroncini had a poisoned tooth. The silver in Trento, in the European U23 line, had not gone down to the end. He wanted gold. He wanted the heavy medal. He wanted it so badly that when we saw his shot a few kilometers away we were already sure that no one would catch him. He put the exclamation mark on the team work and took the gold. Devastating.

Baroncini: “It was the dream of my life, a perfect day”

Julian Alaphilippe … 10: inimitable

“I was relaxed, but I didn’t think I could repeat myself”. Julian Alaphilippe arrived in Belgium as the quietest of predators. Beside him he had Colbrelli, van Aert, van der Poel, but he preferred to stay on the sidelines. He did pretactic. Almost disinterested. But then, when the race started, he put the whole of Belgium on fire. With the usual desire to win and the usual series of attacks, he greeted the group 17km from the finish. He came alone and started crying. So strong and so fragile. Inimitable.

“Che bottaaaaa” Magrini goes crazy at the click of Alaphilippe

Tony Martin and the German Mixed … 9: what a story!

At the last race, at the last ring, Tony Martin says goodbye as the most classic of timeless champions. Five years after Doha – and since his last success at the World Cup – the Cottbus native raises his voice again and wins the gold medal in Mixed Relay (together with Brennauer, Klein, Kröger, Arndt and Walscheid). A career against the clock, closed with yet another masterpiece. Good boy Armored car.

Farewell gift for Tony Martin: Golden Germany in the mixed relay

Ellen van Dijk… 8: un treno

A wonderful time trial, a devastating Mixed Relay and an exaggerated world production. Surely, in the Dutch package glided in Belgium, she is the only athlete (together with Vos) that we can promote with a light heart. Trimming 10 seconds to a wild Marlen Reusser says a lot about the class of this big girl from Harmelen. 34 years and not hear them. Chapeau.

Ellen Van Dijk queen of the time trial, relive his arrival

Denmark … 7.5: the new school

You write down the names, then we’ll talk about it in a few years: Johan Price-Pejtersen, Gustav Wang, Carl-Frederik Bevort, Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen, Mathias Norsgaard, Mikkel Bjerg. In addition, also the bronze medal of Michael Valgren and the fourth place in the time trial of Kasper Asgreen. Exponential growth.

Zoe Backstedt… 7: next big thing

This Welsh girl born in 2004 with a disruptive physique, silver at the time trial and gold in the junior online test, gave the idea of ​​knowing all the secrets to make havoc even on the highest floors. We are waiting for her, and in the meantime we congratulate Magnus (her father, winner of the Paris Roubaix in 2004): he taught her well.

Zoe Backstedt junior world champion, Ciabocco 9a

Holland … 5.5: bitter sweet

Holland have won a total of 6 medals (most of all), but sometimes the medal table does not reflect the reality of things. Van Baarle’s silver applauded (result of the progress of the race rather than of tactics) and the van Dijk gold we have already talked about, the female test and the Mixed Relay have weighed heavily on the performance of one of the BIGs. In the Saturday race, won by Elisa Balsamo, the silver of the eternal Vos is not enough to promote the Dream Team Orange (for dispersion the strongest team), while in the team time trial the performance of the men threw away the safety of the gold medal (escaped for only 12 seconds). It could – and should – be better.

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Elite men’s team … at the mercy of events

We had a lot of expectations on Cassani’s guys. The moment, Colbrelli’s season, the path suitable for Trentin: there were the conditions for dreaming. Maybe it was crazy to believe in the medal, but we were hoping for it. The reality instead made us collide with a race running in trouble. After the crashes of Trentin and Ballerini, the Azzurri were caught up in the rhythm and understood a little bit. Even in the final, with the Nizzolo-Colbrelli couple, the feeling is that there was no clarity. Too bad, because the role of outsider helped us a lot in managing the race. Wasted opportunity.

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Stefan Küng … 5: ugly duckling

He is two-time European champion in charge at the time trial, and you have to show him respect, but his story almost makes you smile. After regulating everyone in Trento, took over a minute from Pippo Ganna in the tick-tock and lost the podium in the Mixed Relay by 5 cents, confirming the eternal place. Wilen’s native is certainly a star of his era, but this placement story has to end. He could seriously go crazy.

Mathieu van der Poel … in trouble

In apnea, but ends up failing only because of the few kilometers of the race close to the test that did not allow him to reach that brilliance necessary to win.

Wout van Aert … 4: too much pressure

Living a World Cup like the one that Wout van Aert experienced must be something terrible in terms of stress – all the lights on, the public unleashed, it’s coming home -, but it was reasonable to expect something more. We can also understand the passivity with Evenepoel in front, but in the second part of the race he always ran to chase. He never felt like he was in control of the ride and paid for it. Too much pressure for him too.

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Marc Hirschi … 3: disappointment

His season summed up in a test.

Spain … 1: have you seen them?

Ok that it is no longer the Spain of the early ’00s or early’ 10s, but they never showed signs of life. Undertone, under rhythm and straight behind the blackboard. They have to rebuild from the ground up because the Generación dorada has been over for a while.

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