On the first rest day of this year’s Tour, Adriano Malori announced his premature retirement from pro cycling. The Movistar and former Lampre rider was a brilliant time triallist, resilient personality and highly popular teammate. An unusual and horrible crash at the 2016 Tour de San Luis has ultimately led to the end of an impressive career dotted with major results. He aims to stays in cycling and has stepped into the classroom to study sports science. Here’s five times he proved his brilliance on a bike…
When he was the best in Italy for the first time…
It was clear from a young age that Adriano Malori was going to enter the sport through the time trial ranks and when he claimed the U23 World Championship title as an unsigned 20-year old it was obvious it wouldn’t take long.
His first season at Lampre was solid but he steered clear of the senior National Championships won by Marco Pinotti. In 2010 he was thrown into the deep end at the Tour de France – only Fabio Felline and Cyril Gautier were younger starters – and battled bravely to finish as the Lanterne Rouge.
Malori began to collect top results and went to the 2011 Nationals in Sicily with hopes of proving himself over a longer course. He beat Manuele Boaro into second and earnt his first of three separate seasons in the tricolore jersey.
When he was the star of a fantastic photo…
As he proved at the 2010 Tour, Malori was keen to finish any race he entered. In 2014 he rode the Giro d’Italia in support of Nairo Quintana with one eye on the Barolo time trial on Stage 12.
Stage 11 started in Malori’s home region but his race almost ended when he was flung into a gutter as part of a nasty crash involving several riders. He suffered serious impact to his right arm as well as bruises to his thorax and knees. Muddy, bloody and with half a jersey, Malori finished the day with the Grupetto and nursed himself through the remainder of the 21 Stages.
He was captured in one of the greatest photos of the season and the picture still embodies his attitude to cycling.
When he tried something new…
Despite his battering at the Giro, Malori headed to the 2014 Route du Sud in search of strong form. The race ended up hosting Malori’s only road race win as he denied the sprinters with a strong showing on Stage 3. He jumped off the front with 20km to go alongside Josh Edmondson and in pursuit of loan leader Yukiya Arashiro. FDJ began to chase over the rolling terrain but Malori went solo to defend his 15 second advantage. It was a wonderful attack and the Italian was obviously thrilled as he raised his arms in celebration. The peloton rolled home just five seconds behind.
“I dedicate this victory to my team, for all the confidence they gave me in all races, and also to myself, because I took almost no rest after the Giro and took care of myself, thinking about the national time trial championships”
Malori went on to win the national title for a second time…
When he was nine seconds from the top of the world…
At the end of the 2014 season Malori took a time trial victory at the Vuelta Espana confirming himself in the top tier of time triallists. The following season started well and he wore the marine blue leader’s jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico.
After winning his most comfortable National title, Malori headed to the Worlds in Richmond but was set to face off against a very talented field. He fared well on the long American course bettering the times of Tom Dumoulin, Rohan Dennis and Tony Martin. In fact, only Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka went faster and Malori took home the silver medal. He was just nine seconds away from achieving his dream and reaching the top of his chosen discipline.
When he climbed back on a bike…
Malori’s terrible crash at the Tour de San Luis caused serious head trauma and left him in an induced coma. The crash led to the end of his career but not before he fought through a hard recovery and was able to race bikes again.
Malori was riding a stationary bike less than three months after his crash and described the feeling as starting his ‘second career’. He announced a highly ambitious comeback at the two Canadian World Tour events but – understandably – failed to finish either of the 200km races.
Less than two weeks later Movistar selected him for the Giro della Toscana. The opening stage was won by his teammate Giovanni Visconti and Malori finished in 118th to complete his impressive recovery. Sadly, a broken collarbone pushed back his ambitions once more and Malori called an end to his career in July.
“I’ve spent two years battling against that dreadful day, and I won, even though it wasn’t a complete victory”
3 comments on “Five Times Adriano Malori Proved He Was a Brilliant Rider”
Great shame! I met him in Varese, along with his girlfriend and family, when he won the U23 world time-trial championship – lovely guy and talented rider.
Fantastic! I want to go to some of the smaller races to meet the riders in a more relaxed environment.
Hope he gets a good second career.
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