The Venetian team placed two riders on 2022 Easter Classic’s podium and has been the most decorated squad throughout the last 15 years, but not yet quenched
Ahead of the Centennial edition of Giro Del Belvedere (April 10th) there is no lack of self-confidence in the words of Davide De Pretto, one of the best riders of Zalf Euromobil Desirée Fior, a historic U23 cycling team and the squad that here got the most wins in the last 15 years. Twelve months ago, on the finish line of Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, North-East Italy), Zalf was able to place two athletes in the top-5 (Federico Guzzo, 2nd, and De Pretto indeed, 4th), but couldn’t manage to triumph over French rising talent of Groupama FDJ, Romain Grégoire.
Among the athletes winning Giro del Belvedere wearing a Zalf’s jersey in recent years, there are important name of International cycling, going from Sacha Modolo in 2009 to Andrea Vendrame, latest winner of the white-green-red team in 2015.
“Both personally and as a team – said De Pretto – we want to improve our result of last year at Belvedere, and that means winning. I know this year there’s a new segment on the route due to the Centennial year edition, and it will be even more spectacular”.
The 20-year-old Italian rider from Vicenza comes off from a solid 2022, where he achieved several top-10 placements and even the U23 European bronze medal at the Road Championships in Portugal.
“After a bit of a slowly start, I’m now definitely catching up – argued De Pretto –, as witnessed by other two top-10 in the latest days (Memorial Polese, 7th, and Gran Premio San Giuseppe, 3rd, ed). I know the level of the opponents at Belvedere keeps increasing, especially thanks to international teams, but winning there is one of my goals of the seasons and I will give it all. Among those to watch out for, I can definitely say Jumbo Visma, Groupama FDJ, Hagens Bermans Axeon and the Italian Cycling Team Friuli”.
Of the 35 teams lining up at the 2023 Giro del Belvedere, 18 come from Italy and 17 are international. The young riders will have to face an unprecedented route of 171 km with three loops and four pivotal climbs: indeed, the iconic “Conche” (1 km between 5 and 9%), Montaner (1.5 km averaging 12% and spikes of 18-20%) and Via delle Longhe (500 m from 12% to 17%) climbs will be joined by the new ascent of Piai della Vigna (500 m between 9 and 15% gradient), for an ever-greater show and a proper celebration of its hundred years of history.