By Gregor Brown
Diego Caccia showed to be the strongest of the day's escape in Saturday's Eroica Toscana. The Italian of Barloworld rode in an escape of four, but the favourites caught him near 10 kilometres from the famous Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy.
"It is a beautiful race, but it can be a little bit dangerous if you are not used to racing on those types of gravel roads," said Caccia to Cyclingnews after the 190-kilometre races marked with 57 kilometres of gravel.
Caccia, Riccardo Chiarini (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) and Oleksandr Kvachuk (ISD) joined early escapee Luca Pierfelici (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo). The four-man group immediately formed after a larger 30-man move dissolved, at kilometre 28.
"I was looking for an escape because in a race like this you spend less energy up front. In an escape you don't have to fight for position the whole day."
Chiarini and Caccia proved to be the strongest of the four. Pierfelici cracked by kilometre 143 and Ukrainian Kvachuk refused to assist towards the finale. Caccia and Chiarini broke clear on their own to hold 30 seconds on the Columbia-led group with 25 kilometres to race.
"It has been a good period for me. I have been going strong; plus, I have solved some of my problems with breathing that resulted from last year's crash in Belgium.
"Will I be the first Italian to win Eroica? Maybe but I want to keep my feet on the ground."
Caccia will race Tirreno-Adriatico this week, March 11 to 17. He then will take part in Italy's one-day Classic, Milano-Sanremo, before departing to Belgium for Driedaagse De Panne and Ronde van Vlaanderen.