This Giro Next Gen seems to have a common denominator: stage winners are never run-of-the-mill riders and always have stories worth telling. Today, it was Lukas Nerurkar‘s turn, a 19-year-old from Brighton riding for Trinity Racing, which took its second stage win after that of Lamperti in Magenta. The Briton managed to beat Norwegian Trym Brennsæter (Groupama-FDJ) in a two-man sprint at Manerba sul Garda.
The young Briton had been flagged up on the eve of the Giro as one of the outsiders in the fight for the Maglia Rosa, given his numerous remarkable performances this year: he finished 6th in the Gran Camiño won by a certain Jonas Vingegaard and won a stage at the Nations Cup a couple of weeks ago. The Stelvio, however, brutally rejected him, forcing him to wave goodbye to his Maglia Rosa dreams. But no harm done, because today Nerurkar redeemed himself with interest, winning the stage thanks to a beautiful action that began with 40 km to go.
The distance was (approximately) that of a marathon, a competition he knows well as he is the son of Richard Nerurkar, an athlete who won the Hamburg Marathon and a World Cup race in 1993 and finished in 5th place at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Lukas was actually born in Ethiopia, as his father was working there at the time. Richard had in fact launched the Great Ethiopian Run, a middle-distance race in Addis Ababa, becoming its general manager together with a certain Haile Gebreselassie, Olympic and world champion in the 10,000 metres flat, an absolute star of athletics at the turn of the 1990s and 2000s. Gebreselassie also happens to be Lukas’ godfather.
Back in the days, Lukas obviously ran a few half-marathons for fun, but he preferred a different form of suffering, namely on a bike. He clearly took good sports skills from his dad, and now he has a few years to make them pay off and, why not, do in cycling what his dad achieved in cross-country. Or, who knows, maybe even more.