Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) is hopeful that his victory on the opening stage of the Tour of Denmark can help him earn a spot in the Italian team for the world championships in Copenhagen in September.
After a stage that saw the peloton split by crosswinds in the final 40km, Modolo impressed in seeing off the challenge of home favourite Matt Breschel (Rabobank) in the uphill sprint finish at Esbjerg. Given that the Copenhagen circuit has a similar sting in the tail, Modolo was particularly keen to showcase his talents on Wednesday afternoon.
“It was a good test because the finish was similar to the one that will decide the rainbow jersey in Copenhagen: 600 metres of climbing at 6%. I really wanted to do well,” Modolo told Gazzetta dello Sport.
While Paolo Bettini has suggested that Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) will lead the Italian squad in Copenhagen, he will not name his Worlds line-up until September. In the meantime, Modolo will have a chance to make his case in person at the Olympic test event in London on August 14, as he is part of the youthful five-man Italian selection for the 140km London Surrey Cycle Classic over the 2012 course.
“I’ll enjoy the call-up for test event in London, I want to do well,” Modolo said. “Then I’ll prepare myself to be in form for September 25 [the world championships – ed]. If Bettini calls me, I have to be ready. If he doesn’t, my mind will be at peace, as I’ll be happy to have done everything possible.”
Although only 24 years of age, Modolo demonstrated his potential to last the distance over world championships distance with 4th place in his debut Milan-San Remo last season. In the early part of 2011, however, he struggled to repeat that form.
“Maybe I was unlucky, maybe I made some errors,” Modolo said of his disappointing early-season showing. “For sure I was a little bit overweight, and I notice that even if I’m only carrying an extra kilo.”
After abandoning the Giro d’Italia suffering from bronchitis, Modolo finally kick-started his season with two stage victories at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in July. He followed that up with another win at the Brixia Tour, and the Italian captured his biggest win to date in Denmark on Wednesday.
“The win in China was a liberation, it made me calmer,” Modolo admitted. “My selection for London was the confirmation that I’m on the right path. I said to myself, if the national coach wants me, it means that I’m certainly not going badly.”