Place 8 - Fabio Aru
Rider type: Climber
Biggest success 1st, Giro della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc
Team 2011: Palazzago Elledent Rad Logistica - MCipollini
Team 2012: Palazzago Elledent Rad Logistica - MCipollini
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Fabio Aru, born in July 1990 in San Gavino Monreale on Sardinia, celebrated his biggest success only a few days ago. In Aostatal, the wiry climber won the stage race which exactly fit his qualities. In numbers, he is 60 kilos and 1,80 meter tall. At first Aru was far away from the overall win in Aostatal. On the first two stages he lost – especially in the descents – over three and half minutes on Russian Nikita Novikov. Aru didn't let that bother him, after all there were still two mountaintop finishes and a mountain time trial to come. Going into the time trial he had moved up to within 30 seconds of the Russian. The latter seemed to have overestimated himsef and underestimated Aru, because on the last stage Aru took two and a half minutes on Novikov. Fabiu Aru thus took not only the overall title on the steep ramps up Chmadepraz but also the stage win ahead of Elissonde and Dombrowski.
The whole second half of the 2011 season was good for Aru. It made up for his bad time at the Italian Nation's Cup race, the Toscana Coppa delle Nazioni (2.NCup) when he was in the leader's jersey. With the overall win within his grasp, he crashed with only 300 meters to go in the final stage, and had to carry his bike over the finish line. The overall win thus went to Austrian Geog Preidler, who won based on his totalled daily rankings. On the third hilly stage, the two had gotten away from the field with several other riders by two minutes, giving Aru the overall lead. But it wasn't enough in the end for Aru. Nevertheless, this and other races showed that Aru is one to be reckoned with in mountainous races, and that he does best on the steep climbs. This can be seen in his various top ten placings at hilly Classics like the GP Palio del Recioto (1.2) or the Italian U-23 championship. At the latter race he finished seocnd in the sprint in Melilli behind Matteo Trentin. A sprint, by the way, is not something that Aru can really do.
Aru's GiroBio (2.2) in June was not bad. On the hilly profile, he was fourth overall after nine stages, without really doing particularly well in any one stage. The best placing for the enthusiastic 'cross rider came on the mountain stage to Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzi, where he finished second In the end, the Sardinian was very satisfied with his performance.
The end of July, Arus finally won the difficult one-day race Bassano-Montegrappa ahead of Battaglin, building up his summer form. Only a few days later, Aru won two stages and the overall title at hte Giro delle Valli Cuneesi nelle Alpi del Mare. No wonder, when four of five stages end on a mountaintop.
Fabio Aru thus won six races in 2011, including two stage races and four stages with mountaintop finishes. He finished in the top five a total of 20 times. Looking back at 2009 and 2010, it is clear that he only really blossomed this year. Earlier he had not won any races at the U-23 level and as a Junior on Sardinia he had won only one race. All in all, a great development, which Aru wants to continue next year for his Team Palazzago before turning pro in 2013. If he continues to ride so well and continue his development, there will be many teams eager to give him a chance.
Nominated by ocana, written by ocana, translated by Tick