Mauro Finetto emerged as the strongest rider in today’s 2014 GP Lugano – beating Sonny Colbrelli and Diego Ulissi in a sprint finish.
Today’s hilly 169.4 kilometer race started and finished in Lugano, and it consisted of an opening lap on an abbreviated 33.4 kilometer circuit, followed by four laps on the full 34 kilometer version. The circuit had three tough climbs in the second half of the race – the last of which was only 5 kilometers from the finish.
From the outset, an 18 rider breakaway group containing Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida), Simon Yates and Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE), Marco Canola (Bardiani), Francesco Failli (YellowFluo), Sergei Klimov (Rusvelo) Sergey Nikolaev (Itera), Igor Frolov (Itera), Davide Ballerini (Idea), Matteo Colledel (Idea), Tom Thill (Leopard), Giovanni Carboni (Aero Zero),Luca Chirico (MG Kvis) and Andrea Vaccher (Marchiol) managed to escape after the first 3.5 kilometers of racing, and subsequently built up a lead of 20 seconds over the peloton. And, by the 14 kilometer mark, the breakaway had extended it’s lead to 1.28.
Upon the first passage of the finish line, Yates, Howard, Canola, Klimov, Ballerini, Colledel, Carboni, and Vaccher escaped to form an 8-rider lead group, while their former companions were all caught. Meron Russom briefly tried to bridge across, but with no success.
After 50 kilometers of racing, the escapees were 6.43 ahead, but that was as much as they would get, as the peloton managed to bring it down to less than 6 minutes, and kept it stable between the 5-6 minute mark.
With 74 kilometers to go, the advantage was down to 4.42, and Lampre-Merida was now controlling the peloton – as they were eager to set up Ulissi for the sprint. Meanwhile, Howard and Vaccher fell off the pace, and were quickly absorbed by the pack. But, the remaining escapees still maintained a 4.10 lead – with 47 kilometers remaining.
In the final 25 kilometers, Lampre-Merida began to chase in earnest – subsequently bringing the gap down to less than 1 minute. A further 5 kilometers up the road, Yates and Canola proceeded to escape on their own, while their former companions were all swallowed up by the peloton.
From there, the duo worked well together and managed to keep the gap stable at around 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Lampre-Merida continued to set the pace back in the peloton.
With 10 kilometers remaining, the escapee’s gap had been reduced to just 15 seconds. And, shortly thereafter, the duo had been completely reeled in. At that moment, Rabottini attempted an attack of his own, and was quickly joined by Cunego and Montaguti.
A subsequent crash brought down De Negri, Petilli and Mengardo, while at the shame time served to neutralize the front trio. In turn, Ulissi tried a few attacks of his own on the final climb, but to no avail.
Heading into the final finish, the field came back together, wherein Finetto executed a well time timed acceleration that was good enough to hold off the ambitions of Colbrelli and Ulissi in the sprint.
Many of today’s rider will be back in action on Thursday to participate in the GP Cita di Camaiore.
Top 25 Finishers
1 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Yellow Fluo 4:12:14 2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani – CSF 3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre – Merida 4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – Merida 5 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Iam Cycling 6 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R – La Mondiale 7 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia 8 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Adria Mobil 9 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale 10 Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) Area Zero Pro Team 11 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge 12 Antonio Santoro (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 13 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale 14 Manuel Bongiorno Francesco (Ita) Bardiani – CSF 0:00:05 15 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Yellow Fluo 0:00:24 16 Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) Iam Cycling 17 Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) Iam Cycling 18 Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani – CSF 19 Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team 20 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia 21 Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Yellow Fluo 22 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani – CSF 23 Mathias Frank (Swi) Iam Cycling 24 Rodolfo Andreas Torres Agudelo (Col) Colombia 25 Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) MTN – Qhubeka
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