Rally Cycling’s stagiaire Charles-Étienne Chrétien made his name known at the Giro di Sicilia by taking the lead in the KOM classification on stage 1. The 22-year-old Canadian was part of the day’s breakaway and took maximum points over the only categorized climb at Ragusa Ibla.
“It’s really nice to be in the King of the Mountain’s leader’s jersey,” Chrétien said at the end of his fifth race for the team. “I was patient and let the two other guys start their sprint from far out and stayed on the wheel which paid off and then I just went for it.”
The 8.2-kilometer-long climb came 90km from the finish, so having crested the summit in first, all Chrétien had to do was roll over the line to be in the Maglia Verde Pistacchio.
The town of Ragusa Ibla is often referred to as “The City of Bridges” and is one of the island’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it also proved to be where the peloton would start to bridge the gap.
The advantage of the trio began to tumble as UAE-Team Emirates pulled on the front. With a coastal run-in, stage one favoured the sprinters and so it came to pass when Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) took the victory in a bunch kick.
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) September 28, 2021
The climber from Amos, Quebec is one of three stagiaires that joined the team in August. With Raphaël Parisella also recently tasting success at the Tour du Doubs, our apprentices are showing that they are raring to prove themselves.
Looking ahead to the challenges to come in Sicily, Chrétien said, “for now I think we have bigger GC objectives so I doubt we will defend the jersey, but we shall see going forward.”
The jersey Chrétien will wear tomorrow is a light shade of green, referencing the color of the island’s famous nuts. Stage 2 is on a rolling parcours and features two categorized tests. The wealth of climbing and the tight ascent and descent at Carini, 24km from the finish, could favor a potential breakaway.
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Giro di Sicilia KOM standings
1 Charles-Étienne Chrétien – Rally Cycling 5
2 Matteo Zurlo – Zalf Euromobil Fior 3
3 Jacopo Cortese – M.g.k Vis VPM 2
4 David de la Cruz – UAE-Team Emirates 1
— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com