Men’s Open: Daniele Braidot seizes his chance in La Thuile

Luca’s twin brother stood over the rest in the HC race in Valle d’Aosta, climbing to the top of the overall standings. Agostinelli impressed in second place, followed by Vittone

Following Luca Braidot’s success in 2022, where he secured a stage victory and the overall classification in the Internazionali d’Italia Series, Saturday, June 3, marked another triumph for the Braidot family. This time, it was Daniele Braidot who etched his name into the history of La Thuile MTB Race, the fourth stage of the Internazionali d’Italia Series.

It was a long-sought and pursued victory for the representative of CS Carabinieri, who has consistently performed well in the early part of the season. Finally, his efforts were rewarded with a prestigious result that not only holds great significance but also secures him a favorable starting position in the upcoming World Cup races.

The race began with an open prediction as Simon Andreassen (Cannondale Factory Racing) launched a blazing attack, establishing a significant lead after the first lap. However, he was forced to retire due to a technical issue. This allowed Daniele Braidot to take control of the race, accompanied by Cameron Orr (Wilier-Pirelli) and Brazilian rider Xavier de Oliveira (Specialized Racing Brazil). Not far behind, the local favorite Andreas Vittone (KTM-Protek-Elettrosystem) and talented Under 23 French rider Adrien Boichis (Trinity Racing) trailed closely.

It was in the fourth of the seven scheduled laps that Daniele Braidot realized he was the strongest. He distanced himself from Orr after overtaking Oliveira, while an impressive Alessio Agostinelli (KTM-Protek-Elettrosystem) emerged behind him, delivering his best performance in the Internazionali d’Italia Series. Boichis and Vittone (despite a fall during the descent) formed a tandem in pursuit of the third position.

As Braidot began the final lap, he held a nearly one-minute advantage over Agostinelli, while Vittone managed to create a 15-second gap between himself and Boichis. In the last lap, the surprising Brazilian rider Xavier De Oliveira squeezed in between the two Under 23 riders, securing an unexpected fourth place.

Braidot finished 55 seconds ahead of Agostinelli, with Vittone trailing by 1.23, Xavier de Oliveira by 1.55, and Boichis by 2.10. “Finally, my moment has arrived,” exclaimed a radiant Daniele Braidot. “Several times this season, I came close to achieving the most significant result, but it always eluded me for one reason or another. Today, some competitors were absent from the start, but I had exceptional form. It wouldn’t have been easy for anyone to challenge me, and I seized the opportunity. Last year, Luca began his winning streak here, so who knows, maybe La Thuile will bring me luck as well.”

Among the disappointed riders of the day is certainly Simone Avondetto (Wilier-Pirelli), who started the day as the leader of the overall standings in the Internazionali d’Italia Series but finished in tenth place without contending for top positions. As a result, the top spot in the rankings shifted to Daniele Braidot with only one race remaining. In the Under 23 category, Vittone continues to lead, having essentially secured his leader’s jersey with today’s third-place finish. “I’m happy. Since Capoliveri, I haven’t made any mistakes in a race, and today, taking third place and winning among the Under 23 riders on home soil is special. I’m grateful to the people close to me, who have been important even during the tough moments I experienced this winter. Now I can say it: I’m back at my best.”