Despite his victory today, Matteo Malucelli is going through a rather complicated moment. He, and all his teammates of the now former Gazprom-Rusvelo. Following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the UCI has withdrawn the licence of the Russian team, which means that all its riders and staff have been de facto dismissed. And at this point in the season, it is anything but easy to find alternative arrangements or to reinvent the season.
Thus, the coach of the Italian national team Daniele Bennati has come to the rescue of the boys who have been left without a team – and a salary and any certainty whatsoever – giving them the opportunity to ride some of the events on the Italian calendar in the blue jersey. Besides Malucelli, in fact, it is no coincidence that Alessandro Fedeli, today 4th, Giovanni Carboni, Christian Scaroni and Nicola Conci are also wearing the national team jersey. These are all athletes who, until a few weeks ago, were Gazprom-Rusvelo riders.