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[CT'20] Centovalli - Fiat | July Preview
Fabianski wrote:

However, the next hilly C2 race - Coppa Placci, one of our goal races - should suit our puncheurs better, having an uphill finish! Stay tuned!

Agreed. Looking forward to see how your puncheurs do there. Top-5 should be doable.
Race Review | Coppa Placci (C2)

After a rather disappointing month with two underperformances so far, it was now time for our main focus this month - our second sponsor goal of the year, the Coppa Placci! Our sponsors expected us to bring home a Top 10 result - a pretty feasible goal, as team leader Gianni Moscon has already proven in Russia that he's among the strongest CT riders on uphill finishes!

And our team leader had a calm race until the really decisive stage, with several of his teammates doing great work closing the gap to the escapees pretty early on:


Two unnamed Centovalli - Fiat riders leading the pack with 30km to go

We then had a shocker with 20km left, as our main domestique Hermann Pernsteiner was dropped! However, to our great relief, we still had Mirco Saggiorato, Cyrille Thièry and Leonardo Basso in the peloton to support their captain. Our Austrian must have had a really bad day - or maybe he was just taking bottles at the wrong time?

But on the final 5 kilometers, the team leaders had to take things in their own hands anyway! Eiking was the one launching the first real attack, with Gianni Moscon right on his wheel, followed by big race favorite Kelderman.


Gianni Moscon following Eiking's move

It proved to be the decisive move, as 8 riders arrived together at the Flamme Rouge - and Gianni Moscon launched his sprint with 800m to go and took the lead!

However, it looked like that move came too early, as he got overtaken by Kelderman with 300 meters to go. It still looked great for a podium though, with those two and Quevedo having a slight gap on the others!

But actually, Gianni seemingly was just playing games with them, as he simply accelerated again, left Kelderman behind just as it was the easiest thing on earth - and went on to win the race! Gianni Moscon finally takes our first win of the season by bringing home Coppa Placci - and that's not all, as in fact it's the very first win in a one-day race in team history! After four second places combined in 2019 and 2020, we finally have that first win - which was one of our goal's this season! And in addition, accomplishing a sponsor Top 10 goal by winning a race is pretty stylish as well!

Congratulations to Gianni Moscon and the whole team, who did a great job today!
And when talking about the team, they actually delivered a nice depth result once again, with Hermann Pernsteiner finishing 20th (he probably really was caught off-guard... too bad!), Mirco Saggiorato (22nd), Leonardo Basso (24th) and Cyrille Thièry (29th) all inside the Top 30 as well - well done, boys!

This definitely was our highlight of this month - and of the whole season, together with Gianni's 2nd place in Laigueglia - as the only race that's still awaiting us is... a cobbled one. However, Leo Basso has shown today that he is ready to tackle this challenge - let's find out soon!


Gianni Moscon winning Coppa Placci!

Yay! Really happy he won a race for you after my stupid guarantee Philips wouldn't be able to keep Kelderman and Moscon would be the best in the division. It's the tougher finishes that suit him best so I hope you have a few more of those this season.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Very impressive race by Moscon, there is no better way to achieve a sponsor goal. congrats!

Ollfardh wrote:
Yay! Really happy he won a race for you after my stupid guarantee Philips wouldn't be able to keep Kelderman and Moscon would be the best in the division. It's the tougher finishes that suit him best so I hope you have a few more of those this season.

A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

Fantastic victory by Moscon. Could be a big one to keep you atop the rankings Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
You were right - to everybody's huge surprise, they actually did! How did you know? Pfft

To be honest, I always doubted that Kelderman would really be sold. But well, Gianni has already beaten him in some races now, which is good Smile
Don't know the calendar by heart, but I think there aren't that many CT races that really suit him. He'll do some C1 racing, though - hopefully that works out better than in Hong Kong! At least, it can't be worse than 0 points Pfft

Thanks! Had Moscon already been in my team by the time I chose the goals, I'd have made it at least a Top 5 goal - but any goal achieved is good of course!

It was a great one, that's for sure - especially after he already seemed to be fading! Whether I stay on top or not isn't that important - Top 5 is enough Wink Honestly, I think other teams have better balanced squads and could overtake me (as we still have close to nothing in time trials and cobbles).

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First win for Moscon must be really sweet Grin Great to have got it in a home race too!
Race Review | Lincoln GP (C2HC)

Cobbled race - nothing to see here - move on! That's the short summary of how these races usually work out for us, still having no specialist on this terrain in our roster.

However, Leo Basso already showed in Gent - Wevelgem that he can absolutely be in contention for a Top 20 result - what was what we would have been happy with here in Great Britain.

But first, it was Benedikt Mundle attacking once again. Although he was our third best cobbler in this race, that breakaway's sole goal was to get us some TV time. Because being our third strongest cobbler means a stat value of 62...

Hence, he was dropped from the break and later from the pack pretty early - as all others bar the team leader. The pace in the peloton therefore was pretty high all day long - surely a fact that suited Basso with his great stamina very well! And furthermore, he doesn't dislike the many, many hills as much as some way stronger cobblers do.

So he survived split after split, always being on the right side - even being able to follow the decisive move with 10km to go! He was in the group of 11 riders fighting for the win, so even a Top 10 was now absolutely possible - what a pleasant surprise for us! And then - he surprised us even more, being in contention for a podium until the very end. Leonardo Basso narrowly missed out on that podium, but he finished 4th - a result we never would have dared dreaming of!

He surely had a great day, taking all the momentum from Coppa Placci to Great Britain, and then delivering like a boss! He didn't attack today, he waited and held on - which definitely was the best possible strategy! Congrats on a career best, Leo!


Leo Basso sprinting for 2nd place against CT top cobblers Naesen, Baugnies and Sinkeldam!

April Summary

We had already accepted that April would be our worst month so far, with slightly below 10 points per RD. This was mainly due to disappointing results in Hungary and Slovenia, while our highlight certainly was Moscon's win in "home" race Coppa Placci.

But then, Leo Basso pulled off this incredible show in Lincoln GP, finishing 4th in a cobbled race - which is our 4th highest result in a one-day race this year! He scored more points in a single race than what we got from Betonexpressz and Izola combined - and of course way more than we got from all our previous cobbled races combined!

It's such unexpected performances that make our dream of promotion going on - April got us more than 100 points closer to achieving it! The next three months with a total of 68 race days (compared to 30 for the last three months of the season) will definitely make or break our season - stay tuned!

Fabianski wrote:
we still have close to nothing in time trials and cobbles

Problem solved Pfft

Centovalli is on a mission. First Moscon, now Basso - The Italians are bringing in the big points to keep you in the top fight!
Basso made me regret not putting him in the preview Pfft


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Incredible season for Moscon so far really, he's everything I hoped he would be and more. Sick season for you so far.
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png Generali pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gen.png
Yeah, it was quite a lot of "firsts" that made it even more special - first win for him on the team, first win of the season, first win in a one-day race - and even (almost) on home soil Grin

Well, Basso is both our best TTer and best cobbler - that says it all Wink If he performs like this in all of those races, indeed, problem solved Pfft
It has to be the Italians performing for us, as no other team currently having Swiss riders will let them go Pfft

No, don't do that! If you put him in the preview, everyone will watch out for him, that's no good!

Not surprised you're following Moscon's season Wink He's doing really well, except for Hong Kong and some of those flat-ending classics. The price tag isn't going down though, that's for sure Pfft

May Preview

With the second half of April finally bringing us our first win of the year, as well as a completely suprising 4th place in a cobbled race, the team is still on a high and more than ready to tackle the month of May!

20 race days are awaiting us, split between five races. Things are looking great in terms of promotion fight - but we need to keep the points coming in to stay up there. And that definitely won't be easy this month, given the races scheduled for us:

May 02 - 07 | Tour de Romandie (C1)



First comes one of our season highlights - the stage race in western Switzerland was a must for us. But given the C1 rating - and our lack of competitive climbers at this level - it probably won't be a highlight in terms of points. But who knows - last year, we won the KoM jersey, and if we can repeat this, we'll be more than happy!

Let's see who are the riders we're putting our hopes in:
Mirco Saggiorato77736658Cyrille Thièry70746672
Andrea Manfredi78656562Fabian Lienhard66756673
Hermann Pernsteiner75776161Theo Reinhardt57676779
Gino Mäder73687167Issiaka Cissé53636778

We've seen quite often already that our best balanced GC rider is Mirco Saggiorato, and so he'll be leading us in this race. Our strongest pure climber, Andrea Manfredi, is here to support him, while we expect Hermann Pernsteiner to go stage hunting, having a very good breakaway rider profile.

Our three other Swiss guys Cyrille Thièry, Fabian Lienhard and Gino Mäder will hopefully do the same, with the two former being good puncheurs, and the latter hopefully getting a valuable result in the U25 standings.

Finally, Theo Reinhardt, supported by Issiaka Cissé, will target stages 2 and 6 - a stage win on home soil would of course be great!

Given the TTT on day 1 and yet another TT (at least one for the climbers), we can't have high ambitions GC-wise, so we'll really be going for great stage results this year!

Expectations: GC Top 25, Stage win, KoM jersey
Best result so far: 16th GC, Top 3 stage, KoM jersey (2019, Fausto Masnada)

May 11 - 13 | Tour du Faso (C2HC)



The good news for our riders: this is the final cobbled race of the year. The bad news: it's by far the most crazy one! None of our riders survived last year, all finishing OTL on stage three - let's see if at least one of these can make it this year:
Leonardo Basso737373Maximilian Walscheid617069
Gino Mäder647268Stefan Bissegger606969
Benedikt Mundle627379Nico Brüngger557068

It will definitely be a race where the teams with decent cobble lineups can gain a lot of points back on us. Nonetheless, we have seen a fantastic performance by Leo Basso in Lincoln GP, so we expect him to at least finish the race (probably being our only rider to do so), and to even get a few points from this race. That's easier said than done, though...

Expectations: Top 20
Best result so far: DNF (2019, whole team)

May 18 - 20 | Giro del Trentino (C2)



After having had a lot of success in our first two goal races of the season, we have some less pressure here - but still, the sponsors are hoping for a Top 5 GC finish in this home race!

Hence, one of our goals pre-season was to sign a great climber - mission failed. This goal will therefore be hard to achieve - but we're still hoping one of the following riders will be able to do it:
Andrea Manfredi786573Gino Mäder737172
Mirco Saggiorato776674Nico Brüngger717370
Hermann Pernsteiner756171Leonardo Basso677273
Gianni Moscon736677Stefan Bissegger646969

Yes, our four strongest time trialists are included in this roster - which pretty much says everything about our chances on day one. We're really hoping for Mirco Saggiorato to pull off a great result in the mountains, like he did in Eritrea. His support is as strong as it can be, especially with Andrea Manfredi and our top hybrid Hermann Pernsteiner. Even Gianni Moscon will be here to help out in the mountains.

Gino Mäder has yet to show how much he has progressed off-season, but given his uphill and time trialing skills, he'll be a valuable squad member here, just like Nico Brüngger. Leo Basso and Stefan Bissegger are really just here for the opening TTT.

Given the huge competition in CT this year, a Top 5 seems to be rather unrealistic - but Saggiorato still came 6th last year, so why not improve that by one spot? We're on a roll, so everything can happen!

Expectations: Top 5
Best result so far: 6th GC (2019, Mirco Saggiorato)

May 23 - 28 | Olympia's Tour (C1)



Well, this one gives us some headaches... First, we don't have a strong TTT squad, and furthermore, our designated leader for this race hasn't done a lot of useful things so far... Guess who it is from our roster?
Tom Scully79806377Leonardo Basso71697272
Pedro Merino Criado77795656Stefan Bissegger69706968
Maximilian Walscheid74756171Gino Mäder67637172
Fabian Lienhard73766670Nico Brüngger63667369

Our focus actually is clear: the three flat stages and the epilogue are a perfect target for Tom Scully. Unfortunately, though, he hasn't really shown up in bunch sprints so far. He needs to finally step up his game if we are to score decent points from this race! It's clear that we won't be able to target a good GC result, given the rather long initial TT and the TTT.

We then have Scully's usual sprint leadout, namely Pedro Merino Criado and Max Walscheid. This time, Benedikt Mundle definitely won't get in their way, so there's no excuse for failing! As an alternative, we bring Fabian Lienhard, who actually loves attacking as well, but hasn't shown his skills a lot so far. Time to step up for him as well!

Expectations: 3 Top 10 stage results
Best result so far: N/A

May 24 | Frankfurt Eschborn (C2)



To round off the month, yet another one of those flat-rated races, with possibly a very unpredictable outcome. We have tried to be prepared for any scenario, sending those lads to Germany:
Theo Reinhardt798467Andrea Manfredi627365
Issiaka Cissé787763Benedikt Mundle596965
Manuel Stocker767765Mirco Saggiorato587273
Cyrille Thièry727374

In one of his very rare opportunities to shine on home soil, Theo Reinhardt will be our main hope if the race turns out to be easy enough to end up in a bunch sprint. He isn't a slouch on the hills, either, so we really hope he'll be able to keep up until the very end! His support should consist of Issiaka Cissé and Manuel Stocker, as usual.

Should those hills however be too hard for him, Cyrille Thièry could become our main option, as he's really solid on the hills and has got a good sprint. With his attacking spirit, a presence in the breakaway of the day shouldn't be excluded, either - and that could actually be a successful strategy on this course.

Mirco Saggiorato and Andrea Manfredi are here in case the race should be even harder, and some climbing abilities would be required. Especially the former is a good option on both longer and shorter inclines - exactly what the race is made of except for the final kilometers.

Let's see which strategy will prove to be the successful one - we don't have very high expectations anymore in those races, as pretty much everything can happen!

Expectations: Top 10
Best result so far: N/A

Out of these 20 race days, there aren't any that are perfectly suited to our team. Our boys have been doing great so far, so if they continue this way, we could still get a good points haul. But we won't be mad either if we get a rather disappointing month for once. The combination of choosing races due to locality, races suited to (so far) underperforming riders and races with an unpredictable outcome due to their profile doesn't sound very promising - up to the riders to prove they can shine no matter the circumstances!

Not great races for you, but still a chance for Reinhardt to deliver big in his home race and plenty of candidates for breakaway success in the other races.


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Got a very nice depth squad in Trentino, and i think they'll do quite alright in the TTT as well tbh. Nice to get to know the squad Baugnies will apparently be riding for as of today Pfft
Funny how you're going to our home race and we aren't Pfft

Much busier month lined up for you and could see some good results!
It's always a bit complicated when you try to include some role play elements, like local (goal) races. Olympia could have been great if Scully was actually performing well, but I fear now it'll be some wasted RDs... At least we do have our chances in all the flat and uphill races Smile

Well, apparently you were able to settle the disagreement with your sponsor, as Baugnies is still riding for you...
We could get some nice depth points from Trentino, as last year, but I'm not so positive concerning the TTT as you are. Romandie could already give a first hint tomorrow...

I guess you made the right choice Pfft I just saw "flat, prologue -> Scully", but as I said before, he isn't really doing well so far... I'm hoping for good results in most other races, though!

Not happy at all to see Reinhardt in Frankfurt, which is a Top 5 goal race for us. But not unexpected, and kinda neat to have a few German sprinters square off there (unless this goes to a rouleur type). Ndayisenga on the other hand will meet Saggiorato and Manfredi in Trentino. But at least I can give you hope that you won't be the worst TTT squad there Pfft
Race Review | Tour de Romandie (C1)

After we already had a race in our secondary sponsor's country - plus Coppa Placci in San Marino, which is surrounded by Italian terrain - the first race in May finally brought us our first out of three races on home soil this year! Although our hopes weren't exactly high regarding the GC, we still had plenty of hopes for our sprinter and breakaway riders to shine.

But on day one, we knew beforehand we'd be among the losers, given that the stage was a TTT. Against PCT competition, nota bene. And as expected, almost all the PCT teams beat us - but at least we were easily the strongest of the four CT teams, taking 12th place out of 16 teams.


Centovalli - Fiat finishing their task on day one. Note Issiaka Cissé's ITT NC jersey - it may be the only time we get to see it during the season.

Stage two then saw our expectations a lot higher, with Theo Reinhardt being among the stronger sprinters participating in the race. Hence, we unfortunately weren't able to send anyone in the breakaway, but instead had to take part in the chase back in the pack. Which we successfully did, as the breakaway was reeled in on time.
However, in the decisive moments of the stage, we were obviously caught asleep - a group of around 30 riders got clear, and our sprinter wasn't there... Fabian Lienhard gave everything he had to bring Theo back to the front - but it was too late. Hence, Cyrille Thièry, who just hang onto this first group, got our best result of the day - a truly disappointing 31st place. Given that the stage was won by a rider Theo usually beats, this hurt really a lot!

Unfortunately, things wouldn't go much better on stage number three. The situation at the final intermediate sprint pretty much summarized our race so far: the break was caught early, and Fabian Lienhard seemed to perfectly lead out Theo Reinhardt to at least take maximum points at that sprint - but they suddenly slowed down and we only got 3rd place and 2 points...
And even worse, Mirco Saggiorato, our team leader for the GC, then was dropped way too early on the final uphill combo, leaving Hermann Pernsteiner up front all alone. While the Austrian's 12th place - making him move up to 15th in the GC - was definitely nothing to scoff at, the two following mountain stages definitely weren't in his favor. It would have been crucial for our team leader to keep up on this stage - but it wasn't to be.

Finally, on day 4, we managed to send someone in the breakaway for the first time in the entire race. And not just one, but two riders: our strongest climber Andrea Manfredi and youngster Gino Mäder. Both of them didn't participate in the first KoM sprints, saving their energy for later on.
Which didn't really make a difference for Mäder, as he was dropped pretty early on. He was targetting the Top 8 spots in the U25 standings, but only was able to climb up to 11th - yet another slight disappointment.
On the other hand, Manfredi's strategy turned out to be the right one. The further we were into the stage, the stronger he was compared to his breakaway companions, taking the second-last KoM sprint. On the final climb, up to Basse-Nendaz, he then was the only one being able to follow Stancu's move - and he overtook the Romanian on the final uphill meters. The chasers were already a minute back at this point - so it looked like we would be able to at least repeat last year's result on this stage, namely a 2nd place.
But Andrea was having none of it; being clearly the stronger downhiller than Stancu, he simply rode away from him on the descent! The gap only got bigger and bigger towards the finish line - with Andrea Manfredi finally getting his first win for us in 1.5 years - in a mountain stage, solo and on home soil! What a great day this finally became for us!


Andrea Manfredi on his way to a solo win on the Queen Stage of Tour de Romandie!

By the way, there were no serious attacks in the peloton, so both Mirco Saggiorato and Hermann Pernsteiner were able to finish inside the peloton, the latter thereby defending his great GC position! Well, almost, as Andrea Manfredi actually flew past him, skyrocketing to 8th place! 8th!!! With only two stages left - thereof a mountain time trial, which usually suits the Italian pretty well - we could really start dreaming of a Top 10 GC finish in our sole home tour!
And Saggiorato moved up to 31st after this stage - one spot behind the final scoring places. He usually doesn't like MTTs that much -but maybe on home soil the motivation would be especially high?

Day 5 then brought us this decisive mountain time trial, from Ollon to Villars. Gino Mäder was our first hope to maybe get a scoring position, in the U25 standings. And while he did well to overtake 2 competitors, he only managed to climb up to 9th - coming short of the final point by 26".
Mirco Saggiorato indeed had a pretty good day, finishing inside the Top 30 of the stage - and climbing up to 29th in the GC! Sure, that would only be one point in the end - but that still sounds better than zero points...
We supposed that Hermann Pernsteiner might have a hard time climbing up this mountain solo - and he unfortunately did. He only was half a minute faster than Mäder, which made him slip down to 20th in the GC - definitely still a good result for a hills specialist in this stage race! So we had one in the Top 20, one in the Top 30 - and what about our best positioned rider?
Well, Andrea Manfredi once again proved us that mountain time trials indeed are among his favorite races, finishing 9th of the day! Which made him drop behind both Eastman and Pomoshnikov - the former as expected, the latter we had some hopes to leave behind - but by overtaking Barbio, he only lost one spot and still was 9th in the GC after this stage! The Top 10 really was within reach now - barring any disaster on the final day!

And that final day again was one for the sprinters. The team was definitely looking for redemption after the huge stage 2 failure, so they fully focused on Theo Reinhardt again - meaning no breakaway attempts, but working in the peloton. Once again, catching the escapees worked like a charm - maybe even too early.
But this time, the boys weren't surprised by a late move, instead putting up a leadout train consisting of Fabian Lienhard, Issiaka Cissé and obviously Theo Reinhardt.
However, it was pretty much the first time they tried this setup - and it didn't work out perfectly. Nonetheless, Cissé was able to lead out late into the final kilometer, with our German sprinter taking the lead and conserving it all the way to the line - or almost. Look at the picture of the moment the first riders cross the finish line:


Has Theo Reinhardt won this stage? Or is he 2nd or 3rd?

What is clear from this picture is that we got another stage podium - but it took some time for the jury to decide which one it would be. Unfortunately, Drapac seemed to be slightly ahead, so Theo Reinhardt "only" got 2nd place. Still, it was a great result, proving once again he can easily keep up with the lower-tier PCT sprinters - which obviously makes accepting the stage 2 disaster even harder to digest, as a Top 3 in the points standings might have been within reach...

As the whole peloton was awarded the same time on that final day, this also meant no changes in the GC. Hence, Andrea Manfredi achieved the (almost) impossible of getting a Top 10 place in our home race! With Hermann Pernsteiner in 20th and Mirco Saggiorato in 29th place, two more riders scored some GC points in this race. Manfredi furthermore was in the Top 8 of both the points and KoM standings, thereby taking some more points as well - and along with Theo Reinhardt's podium on the last stage, we get a total of 72 points out of this race, which definitely is a fantastic result for a race not perfectly suited to our riders' skillsets!

So, the start of the month was definitely successful - at least the second half of the race. Let's hope that this goes on, and that Leo Basso will again get a surprisingly good results on the cobbles next!

Really cool that you've been so successful in your home race, congrats! The next iterations of the CT Rankings will look very nice for you as well, I imagine Wink
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