“Whatever happens today, let’s just stay calm. There’s a lot of racing to go.” Simon Yates
“We’re in a sport where we lose more than we win. A team races 250 races a year and a good teams win 30 races a year, so you have to move on quickly. We didn’t give up here.” – DS Matt White
“It’s a dream, two time trials and two wins, it was big work by all the team.” – Marco Pinnoti
|In this final, culminating episode of Part 1 – Journey to the Giro, we explore just how the 2022 Giro d’Italia went for Simon Yates and Team BikeExchange-Jayco, after the months of hard work and preparation leading up to the iconic event, as you saw in the first three episodes.|
After years of ups and down and a love/hate relationship with the Italian Grand Tour, this year was no different for Simon.
During the rollercoaster three weeks we explore what it was really like inside the team. Enjoy following the journey, feel all the emotions and part of our success and failures. After all, that is what elite sport is all about, right?!
Episode 4 – Italian Rollercoaster
A three-week race – varied terrain, diverse weather conditions, glimpses of exhaustion, lots of suffering, resilience, teamwork, and a sprinkling of crashes and illness, the list goes on for this unique sporting event that takes place three times a year for WorldTour cyclists.
To be successful across a Grand Tour, a general classification contender and their supporting team needs to sacrifice, train and be 100% committed to the goal, yet at any moment, all the months of hard work and preparation can be undone in a second. This is the story of Simon Yates’ 2022 Giro d’Italia campaign.
The 29-year-old Brit dominated on the second stage to take his first ever Grand Tour time trial victory. Everything was even better than anticipated; the team, Simon, it was looking good and on track, until it wasn’t. Stage four to Etna hit.
The rollercoaster of events began, it was a straightforward stage start, until the Team BikeExchange-Jayco leader suddenly found himself on the floor, the last place any rider wants to be. The pain was instant, what had happened to his knee? The resilient Brit rallied on, finishing the stage without losing time, but the crash had a greater effect than initially thought.
Putting on a brave face, the stage two winner mounted his bike the next day and continued, but with uncertainty there and the niggling injury remaining, were his Giro d’Italia hopes over already, so early?
Blockhaus, stage 9 – a big, earmarked test for the general classification contenders. One of the hardest stage starts seen in a Grand Tour, and it all came undone. As the final 10km climb to the finish began, Yates’ dreams disappeared in front of him. The overall battle for victory was running away.
The true test of character came during the following days. How could the squad change their goals and bounce back? Was it even possible? The pain was still there. Mental strength is what makes a winner or a loser in sport and in life in general.
A real opportunity to turn things around presented itself on stage 14 and Yates took it with both hands. Riding away from his rivals and throwing his hands in the air for the sixth time at the Giro d’Italia in his career, Yates had bounced back in style showing unwavering grit and determination.
Battling on, fighting through persistent pain, it became apparent that things were not improving, and so a wise decision was made and the Team BikeExchange-Jayco leader stepped off his bike, withdrawing from the race but with opportunities still left ahead for his teammates.
Grasping the team’s final chance for glory with both hands, Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero made it a dream end to the 2022 edition, wrapping up the rollercoaster of a race on a brilliant high. The 25-year-old blasted his way around the streets of Verona to claim his first ever WorldTour win whilst wearing his green, white and red champion’s kit on home soil. A fairy-tale ending to one of the most nail-biting editions in recent memory.
It wouldn’t be the Giro d’Italia without some drama but walking away with three phenomenal stage victories, displayed the team’s never-ending belief and motivation.
|Don’t worry, you can still catch up on the entire series to date.|
(Click the titles below to watch)
ON THE WHEEL
Part 1 – Journey to the Giro
Episode 1 – Boy from Bury
Episode 2 – The Racing Line
Episode 3 – Final Touches
Episode 4 – Italian Rollercoaster
PART 2: Back to Business at the Tour
PART 3: Finally, the Tour de France Femmes