Italy’s Bassano-Monte Grappa U23 Classic has been around since 1930 and lists Italian Legend, Gino Bartali as a winner in 1934; with Leonardo Piepoli, Giro winners Ivan Gotti, Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, not to mention Fabio Aru all on the more recent role of honour.
It’s a beast of race, flat then rearing up the feared Monte Grappa climb – of Giro fame – to finish at over 1700 metres.
Exeter’s James Davey was right there in the 2017 edition taking 10th spot behind Belarusian strongman Aliaksandr Riabushenko who won Bassano-Monte Grappa for the second year in succession.
The 21 year-old from the East is a big winner on the Italian U23 scene with a win in the sought after Giro del Belvedere and a stage win in the ‘Baby Giro’ this year among excellent palmares which indicate that the World Tour is next on his agenda.
James is one of Britain’s Zappi squad – named after team founder ex-pro Flavio Zappi a top 12 finisher in Milan-Sanremo and Giro delle Trentino stage winner – but spends most of his year in La Bella Italia, currently in Bergamo but also near Rimini.
We would like to make it clear that James is a Dave Rayner funded rider, a fact he mentioned to us but in the editing process that fact was missed from this interview. VeloVeritas has great respect for the Rayner Fund and it’s objectives, we apologise unreservedly for not mentioning James’ connection to the Fund.