Italy is a great cycling nation, the Italian track foursome has been dominant in recent years. Of course, it makes us very proud as a team to have Liam Bertazzo, a reigning track world champion, on the team. With Liam, we Pushbikers presented our man for the track. Some friends, partners and also team colleagues accepted the invitation to be there live at the specially built track in the Munich exhibition centre. We were extremely excited to see his race on the 200-metre short, fast track oval.
The Italian line-up was new: Liam raced without Filippo Ganna, Italy’s absolute star, Simone Consonni and Jonathan Milan, guarantors of success at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the World Championships in Roubaix. In Munich, the foursome unfortunately had to say goodbye to the medal ranks. Liam Bertazzo, Francesco Lamon, Manlio Moro and Davide Plebani had to admit defeat in the historic challenge against Denmark and even decided not to finish the race.
But after less than four minutes it was all over again, the day ended soberly for Liam and his compatriots. Nevertheless, we were proud of him! Shortly after his race, he came up to us in the stands, apologised and we asked him what for! He had already given us the joy and passion of feeling part of the action on the track. No one could take that away from us, regardless of times, numbers and results.
Our cycling club RSV Irschenberg also joined in the excitement on the track and at the men’s and women’s road race. Months in advance, many of the young Future Stars had signed up as volunteers, for example to be marshals at the cycling race of the European Championships. “During the men’s road race, I secured the course on Sonnenstraße and informed passers-by. Several times I was able to experience the race up close. It was a lot of fun to cheer along with the German-speaking escapees,” says Felix Mitterbauer. A big highlight, especially for our young female athletes: the reunion with Lisa Brennauer, who had helped to organise our club’s sports honour in spring and ended her professional career with one gold and silver medal each on the track and fourth place in the road race in Munich. “She is a great role model for our young girls in the club and also a motivation of what you can achieve,” says coach Claudia Lichtenberg, who was a professional cyclist herself.
“My first assignment as a volunteer was on the track,” says Magdalena Fuchs, who has just won the bronze medal in the team pursuit at the Junior World Championships. “I was very close to the athletes, witnessed the final preparations, the last analyses, tactics discussions and then the joy or just the disappointment after the race. It was particularly exciting when the “own rider”, i.e. Liam Bertazzo from the Maloja Pushbikers, started – as a volunteer I didn’t remain completely neutral for once”. Thanks to her accreditation, Magdalena was not often in action on the track, but she was able to watch every day and spent the whole week in the hall. “If I had had my bike with me, I probably would have joined the start line”.
The “summer fairy tale”, as the press headlined, also aroused great emotions in us. Thank you Munich 2022
and we quietly say goodbye.