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Italian fast finisher passed usual suspects Mauro Finetto and Franco Pellizotti in the uphill sprint into Peccioli, after his teammates controlled the race from the very beginning.

Photo: Sirotti






09.10.2014 @ 16:58 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Conny Colbrelli lived up to expectations in today's Italian one-day race Coppa Sabatini as one of two Bardiani-CSF leaders for the event, when the Italian won the tough uphill sprint in Peccioli. He passed Mauro Finetto (Neri-Sottoli) and Franco Pellizotti (Androni-Venezuela) on the line, after his teammates controlled the race from the very beginning.


Coming into the race with arguably the strongest line-up, Bardiani-CSF team looked not only to crown their remarkable 2014 season with yet another victory, but to pass Neri-Sottoli in the Italian Cup competition and thus become rewarded with the first wildcard invitation to the 2015 edition of the Giro d’Italia.


Thus, the Italian Pro Continental team hit the front of the peloton right off the gun and stayed there throughout all 197.9 kilometers of the 62nd edition of Coppa Sabatini, providing Colbrelli with a perfect lead-out into an uphill sprint in Peccioli.


Pellizotti and Finetto, finishing runner-up and third respectively, once again recorded strong performances in the Italian one-day race and improved on their 4th and 5th places taken last year. This time, always reliable Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice) and Bardiani-CSF co-captain Enrico Battaglin completed the top 5.


A tough course

The 62nd edition of Coppa Sabatini kicked off with a 21,1km stretch that brought the riders to a big 17,3km circuit that was repeated 6 times. It contained a climb at the midpoint and the final 1km climb to the finish which had an average gradient of 6%. The race finished with 4 laps on a smaller 12,2km circuit that was mostly flat but ended with the same 1km ascent to the finish.


The start was very aggressive with several riders trying to get clear but for a long time no one had any success. It took no less than 43 kilometers of racing before the elastic eventually snapped and an 11-rider group went clear, quickly gaining an advantage of about 1’20”.


Valerio Conti (Lampre - Merida), Davide Formolo (Cannondale), Francois Bidard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni Venezuela), Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF), Yonathan Monsalve (Neri Sottoli), Marcos Garcia (Caja Rural CGA), Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Polsat), Carlos Quintero (Team Colombia), Kirill Pozdnyakov (RusVelo) e Michel Kreder (Wanty Gobert Group) all made it to the day’s breakaway.


MTN-Qhubeka hit the front

Being the stronger team to miss the 11-rider breakaway, the South African Pro Condinental team immediately hit the front of the peloton, not letting escapees to build a significant advantage before reeling them in after next two laps around Peccioli.


New group takes off

Shortly after the dangerous 11-man move was reeled back by MTN-Qhubeka efforts, three riders counter-attacked from the peloton: Giuseppe Fonzi (Neri Sottol)i, Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (MTN Qhubeka) and Pablo Valencia (Team Colombia).


Bardiani take control

The pace in the peloton eventually went down as the South African squad stopped to dictate a furious pace and let Bardiani-CSF and Wanty-Groupe Gobert control happenings again. Escapees advantage quickly increaded to 2’30” as the second hour of racing was concluded with an average speed of 43.3 km/h.


Valencia attacks

The situation remained stable before riders hit the shorter circuit around Peccioli and Bardiani-CSF significantly upped a pace in the peloton, courtesy of Stefano Locatelli.


As the gap was reduced to less than two minutes, Valencia decided to attack from the 3-man group with a little less than 50 kilometers to go, while his former companions were reeled back to the peloton 10 kilometers later.


Fedi counter-attacks

While the Team Colombia riders managed to maintain a 2’02” advantage 30 kilometers from the finish line, Bardiani continued to dictate a fierce pace in the peloton in order to prevent other aggressive riders from attacking, However, in-form Andrea Fedi managed to go clear and quickly built an advantage of 10”.


Peloton shrinks

The peloton started to shrink, as well as Valencia’s advantage, as Neri-Sottoli, Cannondale and Lampre-Merida joined Bardiani in pace setting. With 20 kilometers to go the gap was reduced to only 40” seconds with several riders unsuccessfully trying to bridge across, including Maciej Paterski (CCC Polsat).


Meanwhile, Manuele Mori and Carlos Quintero have crashed.


All comes together

Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) was the last rider who tried to attack shortly after his team mate Mori crashed and Valencia was eventually brought back, but he had no chances against joined forces of Bardiani and Neri-Sottoli.


All came together with 10 kilometers to go and all prominent teams started to fight for positions at the front of the peloton to launch their sprinters for an upcoming uphill finale in Peccioli.


Bardiani-CSF emerged as the most successful, providing Colbrelli with a perfect lead-out to take his fifth victory in 2014 and crown a splendid season of the Italian Pro Continental outfit.



2014 Coppa Sabatini results:

1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani CSF)

2. Mauro Finetto (Neri Sottoli Alé)

3. Franco Pellizotti (Androni Venezuela)

4. Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat)

5. Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani CSF)

6. Davide Villella (Cannondale)

7. Davide Viganò (Caja Rural CGA)

8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Lampre Merida)

9. Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural CGA)



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