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Team IDEA Charge at Coppi e' Bartali

Team IDEA had a huge week of racing last week with the team riding in multiple events and putting in some results that have really unsettled some of the big pro-continental teams. It was a true week of highs and lows where the highs and lows on the road accurately reflecting the peaks and troughs experienced by the team.

In a hard fought first stage where the final few miles were decimated by crashes, Team IDEA riders battled their way to the front of the bunch. David Vigano slugged it out against top flight pro-continental competition with riders from Team Sky, MTN-Qhubeka, and Movistar to take a commendable eighth place. Reda, Tizza and Spreafico come home well positioned in the first group.

The short stage held in the afternoon was a team time trial and Team IDEA has wisely saved some riders to keep them fresh for that event. Team IDEA lined up for the first TT aboard their new Viner Chronus TT bikes and prepared to do battle. What they were able to achieve against much larger and better-funded pro-teams was nothing short of miraculous. Team IDEA managed to steal 9th place. They came in just two seconds off the pace of the Italian National Squad and only 19 seconds down on the winners. That's a huge effort that shows the heart of the riders and what can be achieved with the right training, support and a huge dollop of sheer bloody-mindedness.  We doff our caps to each of them for an outstanding result against top tier pro-continental teams.

The following day the heavens opened for the 2nd road stage and the lads continued to ride and race hard in conditions that would have had Cancellara crying into his Twitter feed. Francesco Reda came home in 20th place, 2:21 behind the stage winner Ben Swift, Team SKY.

Stage 3 was one for the sprinters with the teams lining up to deliver their fastest men to the line at the end of 173km of racing. With an average speed of 30mph it's not surprising that many riders didn't have enough in the tank to contest for the tape. Team IDEA were able to put 4 of their team over the line within the first bunch. Davide Vigano took a huge tumble at high speed with a crash that makes you realise why we should all wear helmets. He walked away from this crash without a concussion. His helmet was totally destroyed from direct impact with the road- but it did its job and kept him safe. We wish him a fast recovery, he has some serious road rash!

Stage 4 from Pavullo to Roccapelago was one for the climbers including 152km of riding with some vicious climbs thrown in along the way. With an uphill finish it was always going to be a one for the breakaway and MTN Qhubeca rider  Louis Meintjes came first over a minute ahead of the next rider. Team IDEA rider Francesco Reda managed to bag a tenth place, coming in ahead of some seriously big names in the other teams.

With all the racing done Francesco Reda took 11th place overall and snatched a much needed 5 UCI points, while Matteo Spreafico managed 11th place in the Youth classification. Overall Team IDEA managed a 15th place in the Teams classification proving themselves to be one of the stronger smaller teams at the event.

Roll on the next Grand Prix.

30 March 2015

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