Among the six men’s pink jerseys distributed by the Giro d’Italia handbike race 2022, three shine on athletes from Active Team La Leonessa. This is more than enough to tell the story of the results that the Brescia-based team is achieving in the most important stage race on the national calendar, which is now nearing its conclusion. Stage number six, raced on Sunday in Livorno with the sea in the background, gave the boys captained by Sergio Balduchelli two victories and as many places on the podium, invaluable for firmly retaining the red ‘fast team’ jersey, as the fastest team in the competition. In Tuscany, MAK Wheels-sponsored athlete Mirko Testa returned to success. This year he gave up a couple of stages to prioritise his commitments with the national team between the World and European Championships, but thanks to his third victory at the Giro, he was able to regain the pink jersey in the MH3 category on the eve of the seventh and final stage, on Sunday 16 October in Pisa.
The man from Bergamo took the overall stage victory (considering all six men’s categories) by covering the 45 kilometres of the course in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 32 seconds, at an average speed of over 38 km/h and half a minute ahead of Claudio Conforti, first of the pursuers. Thanks to the points won, Testa has ousted Loreto Di Loreto (fifth in Livorno) from the top of the standings, with whom he will play for the final success in less than a month’s time in Pisa
For Active Team La Leonessa, Mirko De Cortes and Giuseppe Uberti, who have been leading the Giro since the first stage, will also return to Tuscany in the pink jersey. The former won among the MH5 for the fifth time in six races, distancing his rival Fabrizio Bove in the final, while the latter collected his fifth consecutive second place in the MH1, consolidating his position at the top of the points classification. Omar Rizzato (MH2), who was coming from the success in Cerro Maggiore, also finished second, but this time was mocked in the sprint by Sebastiano Nardin. For the athlete from Veneto, winner of the Giro in 2021, there is still a chance to do the encore: the leader of the ranking Manolo Simeoni precedes him by just 16 points: 168 against 152. Completing the list of Active’s athletes capable of taking a place on the podium is Franco Tonoli, third in the MH4 and second in the overall category classification. Also among the top 5 in Livorno were Giannino Piazza (fourth in the MH1), Claudio Zana (fifth in the MH4) and Claudio Pietroboni (fourth in the MH5). “All the guys raced great,” commented captain Sergio Balduchelli, “making me proud of them as always. On the eve of the last stage we confirmed the red jersey and added a pink jersey to the list: it couldn’t have gone better”. But woe betide anyone who lets their guard down: there is still one race left to complete the work. The last, but potentially the most important one. Appointment in Pisa on 16 October.
6th stage Giro d’Italia handbike 2022 – Livorno
All the results of the Active Team La Leonessa athletes
Cat. MH1 – 2nd Giuseppe Uberti, 4th Giannino Piazza
Cat. MH2 – 2nd Omar Rizzato, 8th Oscar Signorini
Cat. MH3 – 1st Mirko Testa, 14th Bernardo Pasinetti, 16th Fabrizio Falappi, 20th Marco Dagnoni
Cat. MH4 – 3rd Franco Tonoli, 5th Claudio Zana, 12th Mattia Guerini
Cat. MH5 – 1st Mirko De Cortes, 4th Claudio Pietroboni