Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won today’s Coppa Bernocchi, beating Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa) and Andrea Bagioli (Soudal Quick-Step) with an unstoppable sprint to the line after Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step dominated the race-winning break
Tiesj Benoot and Jan Tratnik worked hard for Van Aert in the decisive 38 km attack, going shoulder to shoulder and turn for turn with Julian Alaphilippe, Andrea Bagioli and Fausto Masnada of Soudal-QuickStep.
Van Aert started his sprint early but had the speed and power to hold off Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) and Bagioli on the flat finish in Legnano.
There were few attacks in the closing kilometers with only a tentative move coming from Alaphilippe in the last 2km.
Coming into the finish Benoot hit the front with Van Aert on his wheel, and despite opening his sprint from a long way out the Jumbo-Visma leader had more than enough to hold off the late charge from the opposition.
“It’s a nice feeling, especially after a season where I missed out on quite some occasions on the win.
“It feels nice to raise the hands again and especially with the team performance we did today,” Van Aert said at the finish.
“I want to dedicate this victory to the people who keep on believing in me: my family, my trainer Mark and of course, my team. Today all seven guys on the start line were committed to controlling the race and this we did until the very end, so it feels very good to finish it off. “
Meanwhile, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), who recently finished second at the Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze, claimed fourth on the line, while Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) finished 10th after leading the peloton home, over a minute down on Wout van Aert.
Earlier in the stage, a six-rider move containing Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën), Floris De Tier (Bingoal WB), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Dstny), Alessio Cialone (Vendée U), Michael Belleri (Biesse – Carrera) and Jefferson Armando Ruiz Acuña (GW Shimano-Sidermec) marked the day’s breakaway effort, alter building up an advantage of around two minutes over the peloton.
Only Warbasse, De Tier and Moniquet were left as the break dipped under the final 50km, but the duo was eventually reined in 12km later, with Jumbo-Visma’s Sam Oomen instrumental in making the catch before Benoot and Tratnik took over.
On the seventh and final ascent of the Piccoli Stelvio, the Jumbo pace splintered the peloton with only nine riders able to keep pace. In the second group, Chris Harper (Jayco AlUla) attempted to chase for teammate Michael Matthews but the Australian pair would be left empty-handed as Quick-Step and Jumbo worked together to buttress their advantage in the final 35km.
With 10km there was no chance of a second group coming back and with a sprinter each in Van Aert and Bagioli, both Jumbo and Soudal Quick-Step were content to orchestrate a sprint. In the end, it was Jumbo and Wout van Aert who took the spoils, with Albanese the only rider able to break the WorldTour teams’ monopoly on the podium.
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