The little happy prince.
The look on Damiano Cuengo’s face at the finish in Monte Ortobene said it all. Five hundred pound monkey off his back. After a win-less year in 2010 and questions about his ability, motivation, training and disappearance of Prince qualities, his victory in stage two of the Giro di Sardegna fixed plenty of things.
The fact is, Cunego was even having a hard time negotiating a new contract but wins always bring back the fans and the bankers. It’s been a long bike ride in the desert since his last win in 2009. That explains the full-face picture of relief and happiness.
“It was really a beautiful day,” said Cunego with unavoidable understatement. He wants the jersey and the new life that comes with it. “I’m not underestimating my adversaries or the route, but we’ll look to defend this jersey.”
The early break failed at the five kilometer mark and that’s when the race heated up. Philip Deignan (RadioShack) and Stefano Pirazzi (CSF-Colnago) gave it a shot. Then things hit boil as a group containing José Serpa and Emanuele Serpa (Androni Giocattoli), Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) went clear. They hit the climb of Monte Ortobene but the peloton really didn’t feel like handing them the keys to the city.
Peter Sagan and Cunego made the bridge and in the sprint to the line it wasn’t the Slovak who took the win. That honor went to the long suffering Prince who suddenly is back in power and feeling good.
All hail the Prince.