Emanuele Sella’s victory on stage three of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali was his first on Italian roads since testing positive for CERA in 2008. This Thursday, the Androni Giocattoli rider claimed that he had “learned his lesson.”
Sella raised eyebrows in winning three stages of the 2008 Giro d’Italia, and subsequently failed an out-of-competition test for the third generation EPO in July of that year. He returned to competitive action a little over a year later and signed for Androni Giocattoli ahead of this season.
“I made a mistake and I paid for it,” Sella told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve learned my lesson and now I’m living a different life, calm and at peace with myself.”
Sella dropped Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) on the final climb in Gaggio Montano to claim the stage victory and the overall lead in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali on Thursday, and his first win since a stage of Cinturiò de l'Empordà in 2009. He was keen to pay tribute to his new team after the stage.
“In training I no longer just follow my sensations,” Sella said. “Androni has a group of technicians and sports science graduates at their disposal, coordinated by Fabrizio Tacchino. And I go to the races with the same serenity because they don’t impose impossible goals upon me. What happens, happens, the important is to give your all.”
With Androni Giocattoli among the wildcard teams invited to the Giro d’Italia, Sella is looking forward to his first participation in the race since his surprising three-stage haul of 2008, which came just weeks ahead of his positive test for CERA. “It’s never been as hard as it is this year,” he said.