La Vita e Bella for Bernucci
The Tour de France is renowned for bringing out the best in riders, motivating those to new highs, achieving results previously thought unattainable. Today in Nancy was a case in point. 25 year-old Lorenzo Bernucci, a promising amateur but a relative unknown pro up till now, took full advantage of Christophe Mengin's misfortune and Alexandre Vinokourov's sudden reaction on the final corner to steal victory from under the sprinters' noses. It was a lucky win in some ways, but a little luck goes a long, long way, as Anthony Tan reports.
"This is my first victory as a professional today, so, of course, I'm very happy," said a tranquillo Bernucci after the finish. "As an under-23 rider, I won many races, but since turning professional, I have been more of a teammate, so I'm used to both [roles]."
Bernucci's first year as a professional for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in 2002 was a good one. Third overall in the Etoile de Bessèges stage race in France, where, in very similar circumstances to that of today, Andrea Ferrigato and himself broke away on the second stage with 10 kilometres to go to take first and second place respectively. Then, in April of that year at his first Grand Tour, he managed to finish third on Stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia.
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