Wednesday’s stage two of Giro della Valle d’Aosta, a gruelling 133.6-km. ride from Les Carroz to Peisey Nancroix in French territory, turned into a kind of reiteration of the previous (half) stage, with the Top 3 riders in Tuesday afternoon’s Stage 1b hitting the podium again, and once more in the same order.
Indeed Vicenza-born climber Emanuele Sella of the Zalf Desirée Fior squad claimed the stage in a two-man sprint, one more time ahead of defending champion Marco Marzano. And just like on Tuesday afternoon, the remaining podium place was filled by Switzerland’s Oliver Zaugg, who came in 28” behind the winner. Needless to say, Marco Marzano of the orange-clad team Ceramiche Pagnoncelli retained the overall leadership, ahead of the Zalf duo Sella-Zaugg.
The stage was first featured by a breakaway group of some 10 riders, that went clear at the km. 4 mark. Among the escapees was Zoccorinese-Vellutex Giario Ermeti, who won all 4 KOM Primes of the stage (!). Among the other guys in the break were Federico Berta (Italfine Podenzano), Stefano Bonini (Dellese-Feralpi) and Gianluca Geremia (GS Zalf Desirée Fior). After building a maximum lead of about 03’30”, Berta managed to stay clear longer than all other breakaway group members, but in the end he had to give up, and was caught with some 5 km. to the line. So, after all escapees were brought back, the time came for Sella and Marzano to show up. The two main protagonists of the Giro della Val d’Aosta first part made their move and didn’t leave any chance to anyone else.
On Thursday Sella, Marzano and the rest of the peloton will have to tackle another difficult leg, a 118.3-km. ride from Landry to Val Grisenche, finally moving into Italian territory, and encompassing the Piccolo San Bernardo (“Little San Bernardo”) climb, that peaks at 2180 metres above sea level, halfway through the stage, while the finishing line is located at an altitude of 1664 m. ASL. Will these mountains be able to provide an alternative to the domination of Sella and Marzano, and a new number 1 rider in the GC ? Time (and the road) will tell …
Stage 2 - Les Carroz–Peisey Nancroix (Fra), 136.3 km.
Stage Results – Top 5 Places:
1. Emanuele Sella (Ita - Zalf Desirée Fior) - 03h40'33";
2. Marco Marzano (Ita – S.C. Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - s.t.;
3. Oliver Zaugg (Ita - Zalf Desirée Fior) - at 28";
4. Maurizio Varini (Ita – Del lese Feralpi) - at 44";
5. Vladimir Efimkin (Ita – Dellese Feralpi) - at 56"
GC after Stage 2 – Top 5 Places:
1. Marco Marzano (Ita – S.C. Ceramiche Pagnoncelli);
2. Emanuele Sella (Ita - Zalf Desirée Fior) - s.t.;
3. Oliver Zaugg (Swi - Zalf Desirré Fior) - at 01'29";
4. Guian Carlo Ginestri (Ita - Zalf Desirée Fior) - at 02'18";
5. Hubert Dupont (Fra – VC La Pomme Marseille) - at 02'22"