The finale of Giro d'Italia stage two in Trieste yesterday saw attacks from three of cycling's Classics stars: Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto), Italian Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and local favourite Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC).
"I tried to honour the Giro passing through my home region and I'm happy to have put in a good attack," said Gasparotto, who now lives near Como. "I was motivated but unfortunately the sprinters' teams organised themselves and there wasn't much hope for us."
The trio broke free after an attack from Gilbert on the final of three closing circuits. He broke free near the top of the Montebello climb, with 4.3 kilometres left to race.
"Filippo Pozzato joined me a little bit late at the head of the race," said Gilbert. "The cooperation between us was very good but the head wind prevented us from staying away."
The sprinters' teams pulled the trio in with just over two kilometres remaining.
Gilbert added, "I said I'd try and win from stage three onwards. I've started with stage two, but I'll try again."
"I gave it a try because it's what I have to do," said Pozzato. "I will try something again tomorrow [today - ed.], near my home."
Today's stage takes the riders from Grado to Valdobbiadene, 60 kilometres from Pozzato's home in Sandrigo. The stage is 198 kilometres long with a series of punchy climbs in the finale.