Journalist Caley Fretz picked the perfect day to ride in Cannondale-Drapac team car at the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Then #GreenArgyle Moreno Moser rode himself into the breakaway – a break that stayed away until the finish. Fretz recalls Moreno’s shot at Grand Tour glory in this beautifully scripted tale for VeloNews.
Stage races have a script. Establish an amenable breakaway. Let it go. Chase it. Catch it. Let the big boys out to play. Nine of 10 stages go like this. One in 10 stages doesn’t.
These one-in-10 days are circled in the road book months in advance. They often look much like today. Lumpy, but not hugely mountainous, with a climb near the finish so the sprinters’ teams have no incentive to work; narrow roads with lots of curves that make it hard to organize a chase; at least a week of racing in the legs and a week of time loss, too, so that the GC men don’t feel threatened. Even with all these ingredients there’s no guarantee a break sticks. But at least there’s a chance.
Today is one of those days. Today, there’s a chance.
A team meeting is convened inside the Cannondale team bus as an announcer’s voice booms 300 meters away. Moser is the man for the break, the directors decide. It’s not a difficult decision. Today’s route features a sharp final climb up the white gravel roads used in Strade Bianche, a race the Italian won in 2013. Simon Clarke, also well-suited to the route, will stay in the main group and execute his role as road captain. The rest will protect Rigoberto Uran and his general classification hopes.
I’m told to meet Fernández at the team car at noon. Roll out will be at 12:20. “Don’t be late,” he says. The Giro waits for no man.