Italy break their own record in men’s team pursuit race winning a gold medal after 61 years
Italy cycling team was on the headlines when they made a new world record after drubbing the world champions Denmark at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and claimed a gold medal after 61 years in the team pursuit event.
Italians cycling folklore is famous around the world and their long tradition of winning medals in cycling hasn’t lived up to expectations after a gold medal in Rome in 1960. However, the deadlock has been broken after 61 years.
It was a moment of jubilation when the Italy cycling team stunned the race favourites Denmark and secured a gold medal after 61 years.
It was an unexpected victory from the Italians who surprised the whole world (yet again), as the Danes were the clear favourites to win this team pursuit race.
Denmark were leading in the race, comprising of a team of Lasse Norman Hansen, Niklas Larsen, Frederick Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen who took the lead at the 3000m mark before the Italians hit their stride and were just narrowly behind the Danes.
It was an edge-to-edge race between the two nations, Italy's Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna and Jonathan Milan showed tenacity in the race and took the Danes by storm in the closing gap of final two laps of the race to secure the gold medal. History was made the Italians broke their gold medal drought.
Italy have had a stupendous year in Sports, after their Euro 2020 win. Three gold medals at Tokyo Olympics, two on Sunday in the men’s 100m sprint, high jump and now in the team pursuit for Italy cycling team, taking their total tally to six gold medals in Tokyo as on 5th August, 2021.
Italy cycling team revealed their strategy after defeating Denmark for the Gold Medal
'We wanted to do something special' says Ganna
Before Italians started their race, they set up a nous strategy and the entire riding formation was built around setting up Filippo Ganna. The team clutched in the final kilometre and was able to snatch victory from the Danes.
Their plan was successful in winning the race in a new world record time of 3:42.032. Denmark set a time of 3:42.198 to take the silver medal.
Ganna was confident to execute the plan and he was leading the Italians from the front. He rode the last three laps turning a 0.8-second deficit into a 0.166 winning advantage.
Every Italian player played a key role in the race
The Italy cycling team had two youngsters 20-year-old Milan and Ganna, who are fresh legs in the team. Lamon who is the oldest and the experienced player plays a pivotal role and carries out a key role of taking the team up to speed in the opening laps.
Consonni is known for his bike and speed skills, who keeps final riders in rhythm as Ganna accelerates on the front. Milan and Ganna are the considered fresh engine who leads the team in the final kilometre of the race, they have more stamina and use their legs effortlessly in the culmination of the race.
The players were ecstatic and said-
“We are so happy for this gold medal,” said Francesco Lamon. “This is a big, big gift for all the group because it’s been five years that we started working for this, so we are so happy. We have a beautiful, beautiful team like a family. So, for me and for us, it’s an honour to be part of this group.”