Yesterday in Sardinia, Damiano Cunego took his first win in 527 days. While it may only be February, it’s still a noteworthy victory, coming over Peter Sagan, who—thanks in part to the extra-dessert-worthy efforts of his teammates—is confirming some of the form he showed at the top one-week stage races last season.
But a 500-day gap is a dishearteningly long time for a rider with Cunego’s expectations to wait for a win. It’s not that he hasn’t been slugging it out with the elites—he had some notable digs in the 2010 Tour—but for a guy who won a Giro at age 22, “among the best” is widely considered an underwhelming achievement. He’s had to defend his riding far more than any other winner of a Grand Tour and four classics, I can tell you that.