Cycling News

Canadian superfan back at the Giro supporting country’s riders

Sean Moretti the Canadian superfan at the Giro d'Italia and Derek Gee

You remember Sean Moretti, don’t you? Think back to the 2023 Giro in the midst of Derek Gee-mania. Moretti was there on the sides of the roads in Italy shouting his support for the Ottawa rider. The pair even traded gifts before a stage. Moretti gave Gee a book for identifying birds, as the rider is a twitcher. The supporter received Gee’s numbers that indicated his honour of being the most aggressive rider on a stage.

Well, Moretti is back in Italy. I spotted him on Stage 1’s Colle Maddalena. On that climb (6.1 km, average 7.4 per cent), sprinter Riley Pickrell of Israel-Premier Tech had lost contact with the main group. The Victoria rider was making his way up the hard incline with David Dekker of Arkéa-B&B Hotels and Adrien Petit of Intermarché–Wanty. While it was a fairly short stage, 140 km, it was a belter. The peloton had faced Superga, a roughly 8 km climb, 4.3 per cent average with a Cat. 3 rating. While Tadej Pogačar was tipped as the likely winner, Jhonatan Narváez beat the Slovenian at the line.

For Pickrell, who is making his Giro debut, the stage was a serious introduction. He had had a busy early season. Highlights include a third-place in a stage of Tour de la Provence, 80 km in a breakaway at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and his first ride on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. Since Roubaix in early April, Pickrell has been preparing for the Giro, which began with a bang.

Moretti was ready on Colle Maddalena. The man with hair in a ponytail and carrying a Canadian flag ran alongside Pickrell. He patted the rider on the back. Pickrell returned the gesture. Then Moretti put his hand on one of the numbers, 105, affixed to the rider’s back. Moretti gave Pickrell a little help up the slopes of Maddalen.

The maple-leaf support is back.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…