Michael Valgren’s double victory in Italy
Textbook strategy and teamwork secures another big win
Two days in Tuscany is a pretty sweet deal for anyone. But how about two back-to-back wins for Michael Valgren in the picturesque Italian region? To quote Ruben Guerreiro at the finish line: “One just wasn’t enough, huh?”
It certainly wasn’t. Neilson Powless and Jimmy Whelan were particularly keen on making sure that Valgren was first to finish in the Province of Pisa today.
“It’s satisfying to be smiling on the bike again and contributing to a win,” said Whelan.
This win is extra special for Whelan who suffered two major crashes this past year. The Australian pro set the team up beautifully all day in the breakaway while Neilson Powless launched several attacks and would eventually end up in the final breakaway group with Valgren.
“I had really good help from my teammate Neilson Powless so I could sit on the wheel in the headwind. I know I was strong so I tried as hard as possible on the climb. Luckily I made it to the line,” said Valgren.
The three keys to the team’s success according to Whelan? Legs, race smarts, and motivation.
“We’re all smiles here in Italy, it’s been an unbelievable past two days to be honest.”
Valgren gave the spectators today an uphill sprint finish that they’ll surely remember. He proudly stood on the podium as the decisive winner of the Coppa Sabatini — fresh after his podium success at the Giro della Toscana.
“Michael was the strongest guy in the race again today. I just knew that we had a good chance of winning. Out of the two of us, he was the fastest finisher. I tried to make moves and in the end it was amazing to have Michael finish it off,” said Powless.
To make it even more impressive, our Dane beat the new European Champion and pre-race favorite, Sonny Colbrelli. Plus, his last win before these two victories in Italy was back in 2018 at the Amstel Gold Race.
“It’s been a while. But it feels good. I could get used to that winning feeling,” said Valgren.
Three of our riders ended up ranking in the top ten for the race. Neilson Powless made a strong solo attack on the final lap and crossed the line in sixth while Ruben Guerreiro finished strong in tenth.
“It was special to race two days in a row like that with the same group of guys. When you’re on a team that is working together so well and having so much fun in the last few days, you hope you can keep that momentum going through the end of year,” said Powless.
The World Championships are right around the corner and we look forward to seeing what Valgren brings to the event. In the meantime, the team will say farewell to Tuscany and look forward to what other races this season has to offer.
“I dedicate this victory to the whole team. We rode fantastic. So thank you,” said Valgren.