Charly Wegelius rode for 206 kilometres off the front at the Giro d'Italia today with Dario Cataldo (Quick Step) and Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale). The trio were caught prior to the final sprint in Bitonto but the British rider of Omega Pharma-Lotto was at the front with a specific motivation in mind.
"I wanted to do something for Aldo Sassi," Wegelius told Cyclingnews. "Everyone knows he's having a hard time and I did what I could to put a smile on his face."
The famous Italian coach of Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso, Michael Rogers and several other pros, including Wegelius, is currently under treatment for a brain tumor.
"I was hoping for a bigger group to be created," Wegelius said. "The start of the stage was quite hard, so I was expecting more riders to come across. Being only three, it was always gonna be tough."
Another source of disappoint for the British rider was the reaction of the peloton who only allowed them a maximum advantage of 4.50. "In a breakaway, you're not in charge of your destiny," he said. "But it was worth trying."
Wegelius added that he was inspired by seeing his close friend and teammate Matt Lloyd win stage 6 in Marina di Carrara. "Jérôme Pineau's win the day before was also encouraging for breaking away," he said. "Now in this Giro I'd like to see Matt keep the mountain jersey as long as possible."
Wegelius did his part to help out Lloyd's tenure in the green jersey by taking maximum points at the only categorised climb of the day.