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Less than a week after taking his first professional victory, Colbrelli doubles his tally by beating Bole and Rubiano in a 42-rider sprint at the end of the Giro dell’Appennino

Photo: Sirotti






24.06.2014 @ 16:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having taken 12 top 5 results in the first part of the season, Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) took his first professional victory in last week’s Tour de Slovenie and today he doubled his tally by winning the hilly Italian one-day race Giro dell’Appennino. The Italian made it into a 42-rider lead group and used his strong team to control the group before beating Grega Bole (Vini Fantini) and Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia) in a sprint finish.


It is a well-known fact that the first victory is the hardest one and that things get a bit easier when the ball has started to roll. Sonny Colbrelli can certainly confirm this as an incredible string of near-misses has now given way for two victories in a row.


Last week Colbrelli broke his drought that had included 12 top 5 results in the first part of the season, when he beat Michael Matthews and Grega Bole in the second stage of the Tour de Slovenie. The maiden victory was taken in a race that suited him perfectly as a tough climb left him as the fastest rider in a select group.


Today he made use of those same skills to win the Giro dell’Appennino which was held on a hilly course in the Appennines. After the main climb of the day, the Passo della Bocchetta, he had missed the 14-rider selection and found himself with teammate Enrico Battaglin in a second group of 10 riders.


Contributing to the work himself, Colbrelli made it back to the front group that already contained his teammates Edorardo Zardini and Angelo Pagani, meaning that Bardiani had 4 riders in a 24-rider group. They couldn’t prevent another 18 riders from making the junction but they took control of the situation to make sure that it all came down to a sprint from a select 42-rider group.


It contained several fast riders like Grega Bole, Miguel Rubiano, Simone Ponzi (Neri Sottoli) and Andrea Pasqualon (Aero Zero) but they were no match to Colbrelli who took a clear victory ahead of Bole and Rubiano while his teammate Battaglin managed to hold onto 7th despite working as a lead-out man. The result in another great triumph for Bardiani that won two stages in Slovenia and three stages in the Giro d’Italia.


The race was the final big warm-up race for the Italian championships which is held on Saturday. It is slightly less selective than last year’s tough course, meaning that an in-form Colbrelli has marked himself out as one of the riders to watch in the battle for the tricolore jersey.


A hilly race

The 75th edition of the traditional Italian one-day race Giro dell’Appennino was held on a 192.6km course from Novi Ligure to Genova. After a rolling first third of the race, the hostilities started when the riders tackled the Passo del Turchino which was a warm-up for the Passo del Bocchetta, the main climb of the course. Another two smaller ascents followed but the final 28km consisted of a long descent and a flat run to the finish in Genova where it all ended with an uphill finishing straight averaging 4.8% for the final 500m.


As it is typical for Italian one-day races, the race started at an extremely fast pace as a lot of riders wanted to be part of the early break. All riders on the start list except David Per (Adria Mobil) had taken the start under beautiful weather conditions and they were firmly tested right from the beginning.


The break takes off

It took 40km before a duo was finally able to build a promising gap when Manuel Belletti (Androni) and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) separated themselves from the peloton. They built a gap of 20 seconds but were caught after a hard chase.


The riders covered 44.8km in the first hour and raced almost 50km before Rodolfo Torres (Colombia) and Ivan Balykin (Rusvelo) were finally allowed to take off. Eduard Grosu (Vini Fantini) set off in pursuit and while the peloton took a short breather, he chased hard before finally making the junction.


The break is caught

The front trio got a maximum gap of just 3.30 before Bardiani showed their intentions. The Italian team hit the front and started to control the situation, keeping the gap between the 2.30 and 3.30 marks for a long time.


At the top of the Turchino pass, Balykin led Torres across the line with a 2.30 advantage. As they approached the Bocchetta pass, Meridiana Kamen took control and they started to reduce the gap. As Neri Sottoli also came to the fore, the advantage melted away and with 63km to go, it was back together.


Rabottini makes the peloton explode

On the climb Matteo Rabottini (Neri Sottoli) set a brutal pace that allowed him to escape on his own. Merhawi Kudus (MTN-Qhubeka) and Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) joined him but the latter was left behind moments later.


Mauro Finetto (Neri Sottoli) and Sergey Firsanov (Rusvelo) made the junction and Chalapud also managed to get back to the front. Behind, Alession Taliani (Androni), Emanuele Sella (Androni), Zardini, Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil), Mirko Tedeschi (Idea) and Dmitriy Ignatiev (Itrea) formed a chase group that made the junction and finally Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni), Fabio Taborre (Neri Sottoli) and Pagani also made it across.


Finetto punctures out of the group

The 14 riders formed a front group that was being chase by a 10 rider group which was 20 seconds behind as they hit the penultimate climb. Rabottini tried to attack again and was joined by Firsanov, Kudus and Zilioli but that group was brought back.


Finetto was unfortunate to puncture out of the group while Rabottini made another attack on the final climb, again without any success. The chasse group was made up of Pellizotti, Colbrelli, Battaglin, Pantano, Rubiano, Meintjes, Finetto, Roglić, Busato, Bole and Gaffurini and they started to get closer to the front grou.


Colbrelli gets back in contention

The junction was made on the descent from the final climb after Firsanov had been the first at the top. Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani) was a lone chaser and he made the junction with a little less than 35km to go.


The next group was made up of Santoro, Kiserlovksi, Parrinello, Diaz, Torres, Fedi, Ponzi, Lagutin, Pomoshkinov, Tonin, Pasqualon, Petilli, Tecchio, Balloni, Marchetti, Ciommi, Camilli, Bisolti. Pomoshnikov and Lagutin were the first riders to make it back but soon after the two groups merged to make it a 42-rider front group.


Bardiani works for Colbrelli

As one would expect, Bardiani took control and led the group under the 10km to go banner. Taliani and Meintjes attacked and stayed away for a little while but with less than 4km to go, it was back together.


The next to try were Rabottini, Pellizotti and Tedeschi but they were brought back inside the final kilometer. Hence, it all came down to a sprint where Colbrelli emerged as the fastest.



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