Open Women in San Zeno: Giada Specia comes back on Martina Berta

When the Open Women’s race in San Zeno di Montagna, home of the first stage of the Internazionali d’Italia Series 2022, looked destined to a one-woman show, a major twist of fate happened late into the 6-lap effort.

From the first round, in fact, Martina Berta (SantaCruz-FSA) had managed to authoritatively take the lead, immediately opening an over half a minute gap between herself and the closest chasers, led by Giada Specia (Wilier-Pirelli).

Lap after lap, while the athlete from Aosta continued her solo effort, the group behind him crumbled, leaving only Specia constantly between 30 and 40 seconds behind, followed by Giorgia Marchet (Trinx Factory Racing), finally back to her level after a disappointing 2021. After a good start, Greta Seiwald, Sara Cortinovis (both SantaCruz-FSA) and Eva Lechner (Trinx Factory Racing) slid further back.

The twist of fate came halfway through the fourth lap: Martina Berta started suffering from cramps, losing effectiveness to her action, and opening the door for the comeback of Giada Specia. An unexpected chance that the young Italian seized in the final lap, taking the joy of success (the first in the Open category at Internazionali d’Italia Series), as well as two leader’s jerseys: Open and Under 23.

“I am definitely surprised, I didn’t expect it,” Specia said at the finish. “I did not give up, even when the first place seemed compromised: no matter how hard I pushed, Martina was keeping going fast, and her margin never seemed to drop. Having recognized the course a few days ago definitely helped me to manage myself in the best possible way. Hopefully, this win can set the tone for a very exciting year.”

Martina Berta finished 22 seconds behind the winner, understandably disappointed of seeing a likely victory vanish. Third position at 1.10 for Giorgia Marchet, Greta Seiwald was fourth at 2.07, Sara Cortinovis fifth at 3.13.