At the "Valli del Soligo Juniors", an international team time trial in Italy, the juniors from BORA - hansgrohe narrowly miss out on victory by just one second and finish in second place.
The team time trial is considered one of the most demanding disciplines in cycling. After all, it requires the highest level of coordination and synchronicity between the team members, but at the same time it also calls for individual strength in the race against the clock. With the "Valli del Soligo Juniors", the riders of Team Auto Eder took part in exactly such a team time trial last Saturday: Martin Bárta, Kryštof Král (both Czech Republic), Theodor August Clemmensen (Denmark), Tamás Hancz (Hungary) and Duarte Marivoet (Belgium) met an international field of 40 other top-class teams.
The five juniors of the WorldTeam BORA - hansgrohe did a good job right from the start. The riders always stayed together and protected each other from the wind - an essential factor for success in a team time trial. The reward: for the 17.6-kilometre course they clocked only 20:58 minutes, which corresponds to an average speed of over 50 kilometres per hour - and promptly set the fastest time. In fact, it looked for a long time like a victory for the Upper Bavarians, but the local team "Borgo Molino Vigna Fiorita" pushed the Auto Eder team into second place by one second at the last moment - still an excellent result considering the strong field of participants.
After the podium finish at the "Valli del Soligo Juniors", Team Auto Eder started the next day at the one-day race "Trofeo G. Dorigo Juniors" suitably motivated. In extremely hot conditions, it was especially Kryštof Král who made his mark as part of a breakaway group. After Král was caught up again and Martin Bárta crashed in the finale, the team was decimated for the last kilometres. In the end, Duarte Marivoet finished as the best Auto Eder rider in 23rd place, which unfortunately meant that the team was unable to repeat the success of its last participation, when Belgian Cian Uijtdebroeks finished second in 2021.
Back home again, the Team Auto Eder athletes are now preparing for the national championships of their countries, which will take place in the coming days. The next highlight of the season is then the French Ain Bugey Valromey Tour from July 12th to 16th, a five-day stage race that is considered the Tour de France of junior cycling.
Result Valli del Soligo Juniors
01 Borgo Molino Vigna Fiorita 20:57 minutes
02 Team Auto Eder + 0:01
03 Work Service Speedy Bike + 0:12
04 AG2R Citroen U19 Team (France) + 0:19
05 Adria Mobil U19 (Slovenia) + 0:23
Reaction at the finish
"To lose the victory in the team time trial by one second is of course painful. This is even more true because we had some bad luck in the technical final when our riders had to overtake a team that started in front of us. That certainly cost us some time - but that's sport. Overall, we can still be satisfied. After a shorter break from racing, all the riders presented themselves in top form. We can build on this in the coming days and weeks." - Florian Wallner, Sporting Director
Photo: Cyclingshoots/Stefano Colombo