Adriano Malori escaped for the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey today in Italy’s Le Marche region. The effort, though, will likely be short lived. His Lampre-ISD sports directors say that he’s not cut out for the coming mountains and, at 24 years old, the Italian still needs time to develop.
Roberto Damiani, Lampre’s team manager told Cycling Weekly, “I’m happy if he just keeps it for 20 hours.”
Malori gained his position thanks to a good time trial in Herning, Denmark, on Saturday. He is a proven time trial rider, having won the Under-23 World Championships ahead of Patrick Gretsch (Germany) and Cameron Meyer (Australia).
An escape today, which gained a maximum of 8-30 minutes, gave him the extra amount of time to move into the Giro’s pink jersey. The big guns are breathing down his neck, starting with Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) at 17 seconds, and are positioned to take over the jersey tomorrow in Rocca di Cambio.
Regardless, Lampre are proud since it put its faith in him early, in 2009, when he was 21 years old.
“He was one of the young riders that Lampre put its weight behind,” Damiani continued. “After racing the Tour de France twice, he’s a player in the Giro. He’s still the same rider who takes his work seriously, only now he’s enjoying the spoils.”
“Everyone expected that he’d become a winner right away, but it’s not possible, you need years of work,” sports director, Maurizio Piovani told Cycling Weekly. “The fact that he pulled it off shows that the team supported him well.”
Lampre suffers from a bad image due to the Mantova doping investigation. It kicked off in 2009 and in April resulted in 31 indictments, including its former riders, General Manager Giuseppe Saronni and Piovani. Hearings are scheduled for July 13.
Fans may doubt any winning ride by an Italian or Lampre rider based on Mantova and recently history.
“I have trust in him,” Piovani said. “He needs time, though. He needs to improve in the climbs, to lose a little bit of weight… There are still a few things to get in line. After time, we hope, a true champion arrives.”
Adriano will put his weight behind Lampre’s leaders, Damiano Cunego and Michele Scarponi tomorrow. Piovani added, “He doesn’t mind doing work, even with the pink jersey on his back.”
Giro d’Italia 2012: Latest news
Giro d’Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d’Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win
Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win
Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial
Giro d’Italia 2012: Photo galleries
Giro d’Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d’Italia 2012: TV guide