The finish line was eerily silent as Vicioso celebrates, having no idea that Weylandt had died.
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Spanish rider reinstated as Giro stage winner 11 years after disillusion
There wasn't any celebration for Angel Vicioso's stage win at the Giro d'Italia in Rapallo because of the death of Wouter Weylandt but Androni Giocattoli-C.I.P.I.'s team manager Gianni Savio talked to Cyclingnews about his new protégé.
"To me, the organisation of the Giro took the right decision to cancel all podium ceremonies and celebrations at the end of the stage following the tragic death of Weylandt", Savio stated.
"However, the race has been a normal one. The riders weren't informed of the gravity of the accident. We, from the team car, didn't communicate to them about the matter. We didn't know the outcome but when we passed near the injured rider, we understood that he was in extremely severe conditions."
Without the joy that normally follows victory, Vicioso has reached his goal of winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia, something he already did in 2000 in a bunch sprint of 80 riders at the end of stage 15 in Brescia, ahead of Biagio Conte and Alessandro Petacchi while riding for Kelme-Costa Blanca. "But he was unfairly disqualified", Savio remembered. "Destiny was against him."
Vicioso's career went into limbo when his name was made in Spanish media publishing a long list of riders implicated in the Operacion Puerto on June 30, 2006. However, a rider of Manolo Saiz' Liberty Seguros team at the time, he wasn't pursued on any particular doping charges but he only managed to enter smaller teams after that: Relax-GAM in 2007, LA-MSS in 2008, Andalucia-Cajasur in 2009 and 2010.
"We signed him because we felt he'd fit well into our team and that's the case", Savio explained. "He's a rider able to deliver some wins and to bring points for the Italian championship by teams, which is more important for us than any of the different classifications put together by the UCI because it qualifies for the Giro d'Italia of the following year. We won it last year and we're comfortably leading it again this year."
Vicioso was known for being on good form before the Giro as he won the last Italian bike race before the start in Turin: the GP Larciano. "Tactically, he's an intelligent rider and he's in good shape", Savio said. "When Christophe Le Mével accelerated for the king of the mountain price, he understood it was the right time to move. This morning at the technical meeting, we told the riders that the decision for the stage win would be made in that final climb. He was the fastest of the five breakaway riders and he played his cards well."
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