The young Italian claims an unexpected win on the technical course in Valle d’Aosta. Vittone does not shine in the home race, but takes home the leader’s jersey
The best of the Junior Men’s category lined up in sunny La Thuile for the UCI Junior Series race opening the Internazionali d’Italia Series programme on June 22nd.
Many were expecting World’s #1 Charlie Aldridge, local fans were hoping for home-guy Andreas Emanuele Vittone– wearing the circuit leader’s jersey – but the tough and spectacular course charted by Enrico Martello, made even trickier by the night showers, demanded for strong legs, mind and handle in order to face the steep downhills of La Thuile MTB.
Out of the lottery came Davide Toneatti (Jam’s Bike Team Buja), better known as a cyclocross specialist, who clinched his first career UCI Junior Series win.
Andrea Colombo (V.C. Monte Tamaro) stole the show early on, opening a 30-second gap on Aldridge and Lillo, but the situation changed significantly in the first lap. Behind Colombo, Toneatti and Janis Baumann (V.C. Monte Tamaro) came to the fore, with Aldridge and Vittone (puncture) faded.
In the second lap, a slide by Colombo helped the chasers back in his wake, and Toneatti made the best of his pace in the penultimate lap to open the decisive gap and hold on until the finish.
“I am happy and surprised, as I am just back from a surgery,” told Toneatti. “I didn’t try to start too fast; I knew the race would be quite long today, and in the hindsight, it really paid off.”
Colombo came in second place, ahead of Baumann, whilst their teammate Vittone had to settle for 7th, but could be happy with the Internazionali d’Italia Series overall win ahead of Emanuele Huez (KTM-Protek-Dama) and Colombo himself. Scot Charlie Aldridge was fifth on the day.