19 March, 2024

Lotto-Dstny bids farewell to Italy after an excellent performance in Milano-Sanremo.

We love solemnity, mannerism and poesy. We adore nicknames, legends and history. There’s something wonderful in the way we reverence non-places: a stretch of road, a climb to nowhere or the access path to a farm become pilgrimage spots which every devotee must visit at least once in a lifetime. These don’t need to be beautiful places; no one would probably see them if it were not because here is where legends are born.

The Poggio, the myth maker. “La Classicissima”, “La Primavera”, “the longest day”, the first of the Monuments is a very special race. Unlike this hecticness, sign of identity of one-day classics, Milano-Sanremo is apparently slow-paced, it demands a lot of patience and little haste. But the most beautiful thing about La Classicissima is actually teamwork. In other races, a rider alone can standout and even make the whole team shine, with a little luck and favorable circumstances. Not so in La Primavera; if the team doesn’t work together the king is naked.

“We raced attentively as a team, which was beautiful to see. Personally, I feel that I have taken another step forward. The team believes in me, and it’s nice to confirm that trust”, said Van Gils, proud of his teammates.

Almost every year all the action happens in the last kilometers, everything occurs on the Poggio, the non-place where everyone wants to be. But it’s in the first part, where it seems like nothing happens, where everyone works so that everything happens. Lotto-Dstny’s work was impeccable; the family trusted one of its youngest members and accompanied him in a flock until he could fly solo.

And fly he did, Van Gils signs his fifth top 10 in his fifth race of the year. A seventh place in an exciting final sprint completely open, after managing to follow the different attacks in the particular battle between Van der Poel and Pogačar and after a little scare that made him be cautious descending the Poggio.

“My descent from the Poggio didn’t go as planned. At one point, my wheel slipped a bit. I almost fell in one of the hairpin turns and got a little bit scared. I had to tackle the descent of the Poggio with that fear”.

Fortunately, his Orca Aero responded. The geometry of this bike makes it easy to ride. Going fast is not just a direct consequence of good aerodynamics, but it requires being able to control it in a simple and comfortable way, always responding to the unexpected and giving us confidence.

So, despite the energy it took him to join the leading group, the young Belgian arrived at Via Roma with other eleven riders to sprint for an impressive seventh place in a legendary race.

And so we say goodbye, ciao, arrivederci, and we return home. It’s already spring in Belgium and, for Lotto, the season looks bellissima.

Orca Aero

The geometry of this bike makes it easy to ride. Going fast is not just a direct consequence of good aerodynamics, but it requires being able to control it in a simple and comfortable way.