Former Italian Olympic Champion, nowadays TV commentator, remembers the emotions felt at 1983 “Easter Monday Classic” after a strong duel with Pagnin. “To win this race gives self-esteem”
iro del Belvedere represents a pivotal moment those riders who aspire to become a pro’ all along. The U23 Italian one-day race glory blessed any kind of rider – climbers, rouleurs, sprinters and pistards so far : now just have to await the event’s 79th edition, scheduled on Monday April 17th, to unveil who crossing with arms raised Villa di Cordignano’s finish line.
The Italian track cycling icon Silvio Martinello is one of the big guns in Giro del Belvedere’s golden book. 5-time World Champion on track (2 Madison titles, 2 Points race titles and one Team Pursuit title) and gold medal in the men’s points race at 1996 OG in Atlanta, the Venetian former athlete and actually Italian TV commentator conquered the 1983 edition of Easter Monday Classic ahead of Roberto Pagnin, after a strong duel in a messy final sprint.
“I was one of the main favorites since I had already won the Popolarissima and my team, Ciclisti Padovani, aimed to win this race – said Martinello. – The route was characterized by the Conche circuit and very suitable to the sprinters. I remember a very fast race and my team doing a great job. In the finale, supported by Federico Ghiotto, I managed to overcome Roberto Pagnin in the final straight. During the thrust back, Roberto swerved bumping the public without consequences. It was a great satisfaction for me, for my Sports Director, Severino Arrigoni, and for a wonderful crowd”.
“The victory at Giro del Belvedere was crucial for my career – Martinello explained – tough the Italian Cycling Federation imposed the ‘Olympic block’ to complete the four-year period in view of the 1984 Los Angeles OG. Indeed, the U23 seasons until my win at Belvedere made me aware of my skills”.
Compared to the first editions of ‘80s, the course is now harder in the finale with two new climbs, Montaner in Borgo Canalet and Via delle Longhe hill. “I participated again at Giro del Belvedere but the Montaner climb was too hard for me. Nowadays, the race is open to athletes with different characteristics: climbers, rouleurs and puncheurs. The top riders will have to stay in head of peloton awaiting the key-moment on the Montaner climb”.
“As usually, the odds aren’t easy at all – Martinello concluded. – I expect the Continental teams controlling an uncertain race, but I’m sure a great prospect to prevail. This was the leitmotiv throughout Giro del Belvedere’s history, after all!”.