So the US trials are over….. Next up this afternoon are the Italian Olympic trials. Yes that’s correct a last minute trial has been set up in Lumbres France on the SX track to select one Italian rider to go to London.
This whole selection process came as a shock to the No.1 Italian rider Manuel De Vecchi . At the start of the season the team riders they were told that selection criteria and that it would be based upon points at World Cup rounds and World Championships as the Olympics is a SX format. Manuel De Vecchi the Italian Champion and Italy’s most successfull ever rider and Olympian from Beijing seemed like the obvious choice. He’s finished highest in every time trial and race of 2012 and through all pre defined criteria had earned his spot. Going into the World Championships Italy had already been guaranteed 9th place and 1 spot for the Games. De Vecchi presumed the spot was his and the work had already been done. He maybe chilled a little too much in the TT and finished 71st, this was the first time in any time trial race since the format began that he has not qualified at a major event. Despite not qualifiying at the Worlds he’s already done enough to top the points.
After the World Championships the points looked like this:
CLASSIFICA SX 2012:
Manuel De Vecchi 30th – 158 points
Romain Riccardi 48th – 92 points
Roberto Cristofoli 83rd – 43 points
Despite a 66 point margin over the 2nd placed rider the coach now deemed that a trials race would be the way to determine who would represent Italy and goal posts were completely moved. There is no doubt that De Vecchi is the top Italian rider but later today his fate will be decided.
The format 1 time trial lap for all 7 riders. With points 1 -7 for the finishes, this will determine lane choice for moto 1.
They will have 3 moto’s with 25 minute rest in between, again with same points 1 -7. After the 3rd moto the rider with the lowest points goes to London. In the event of a tie there will be a 4th moto. There are no allowances to be made for mechanical problems, severe wind etc. The only factor that will postpone the event for 1 day is heavy rain.
So the pressure is back on.. I sincerely hope De Vecchi get’s his spot as he deserves it and it would be an in justice if anyone else was fortunate enough to make it on his mis fortune. It’s a trials race and anything still could happen….
We’ll keep you posted on the outcome.