“The races with the team have helped me a lot”
He was the last rider to join us this year. And as a track specialist, he has a certain special status, because his attention is directed beyond the missions with the Pushbikers to European and World Championships as well as the Olympics.
We accompanied Liam Bertazzo at the Tissot UCI Nations Cup in Glasgow and reviewed the past two months..
The Sir Chris Hoy Stadium in Glasgow is well known to us from many events of the Revolution race series – Christian Grasmann and his riders for the Maloja Pushbikers raced against the British and international track stars here several times. Now the track in Glasgow is the venue for the Tissot UCI Nations Cup – and according to the regulations, participation in the World Championships in Paris in mid-October is dependent on competing in at least one of the three World Cup races beforehand.
Warm-up on the roller, then it’s time for qualifying for Liam and his teammates Filippo Ganna, Simone Consonni, Michele Scartezzini and Francesco Lamon. A good race for the Italians, who are already in the lead at 2000 metres, with a decisive acceleration on the third kilometre and in the end set the best time with 3:52,379. In the semifinals, however, they are defeated, in the line-up without Filippo Ganna, by the British four, just under two seconds behind. The subsequent bronze medal race against Denmark brought back memories of the Olympics, but this time it did not go in the Italian team’s favour – a time of 3:56.89 meant fourth place.
Liam himself was used by national coach Marco Villa for all three elimination races and showed all his routine, skating a fluid race without losing touch with the man in front. “With the World Cup in Glasgow we qualified for the World Championships. But it was a strange race, Filippo and Simone came straight from the road and hadn’t been able to train that much. We tried to get the best out of it and it’s a shame because the medal was within reach.”
Photos | Arne Mill / Frontalvision, Nassos Triantafyllou, Urs Golling