When 2nd can be a sprinter’s cruelest result

Matteo Moschetti settles for runner-up in the opening stage in Sicily

There was no hiding his overwhelming disappointment when Matteo Moschetti crossed the finish line in Stage 1 at the Giro di Sicilia (Tour of Sicily).  On paper, he was fingered as one of the top sprinters in the four-day race, but on the road, a small error cost him and he settled for second.

“A second place is like a medal, and depending on the face you choose, you may or may not be satisfied,” said Matteo. “In my case, the second face is what I got. I’m definitely disappointed because we rode all day super motivated to win this stage and alas, we can’t rejoice.”

You have to be honest in recognizing when things don't go as you would like to and from there raise the head again.

A mass sprint is a dynamic, chaotic world where decisions need to be made in a fraction of a second.  Sometimes you get it right, but many times mistakes cost you.

Matteo explained: “In the sprint, I have the regret of having started too early. Everything was perfect, we were in a great position, and then on the final straight, the timing to launch the sprint was not right. I found myself in the condition of having to start, or try to stall. A split-second decision. I actually found myself sprinting from a distance, on the final straight that was slightly uphill, so harder than we expected, and Malucelli had time and opportunity to catch up with me.”

It’s frustrating – there is no do-over.  Not until the next race that is. You need to let it slide because dwelling on the ‘what-ifs’ can be detrimental.  Mercifully in cycling, there are plenty of chances to get it right, and Matteo will be back.

“It was our stated goal, and above all, I wanted to finalize in the best possible way a great team effort. And this, honestly, makes the result perhaps even more bitter,” continued Matteo. “I think I did a good sprint with my legs; I had the power to win it. This is an encouraging sign for me, along with the confidence that my teammates have given me, and that lifts my mood. You have to be honest in recognizing when things don’t go as you would like to and from there raise the head again.”

This may have been the only opportunity for sprinters in the four-day Tour of Sicily with climbers’ terrain ahead, but Matteo is not throwing in the towel quite yet.

“On paper there could still be a chance in two days, but let’s see how the stage will be interpreted,” he ended.