By Gregor Brown in Varese
Ukraine's Andriy Grivko was satisfied with the escape and subsequent fifth place in the World Championships road race. Grivko, 25, formed part of the winning 12-man escape in the penultimate lap and gambled it all on a sprint finish.
"I am happy with the Worlds but I am upset that I was not able to make the podium, but I am content all the same," said Grivko to Cyclingnews after the race.
Grivko joined the move after the Ronchi climb in the penultimate circuit. He joined Italy's Ballan, Davide Rebellin and Damiano Cunego, Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet, Denmark's Matti Breschel, Spain's Joaquím Rodriguez, Germany's Fabian Wegmann, Netherlands' Robert Gesink and Austria's Christian Pfannberger.
Italy dominated the move in the final lap of the 260.2-kilometre race. Rodríguez played possum for his teammates behind and the tactics forced Grivko to look towards Wegmann, Gesink, Van Avermaet, Breschel and Pfannberger for allies. However with such a strong group he decided to save himself for a possible sprint finish.
"I set my mind on trying for the sprint because I wasn't feeling too great. I knew that one of them [the Italians] would attack and it would leave it up to the others to close. I thought that even they used a lot of strength beforehand, however, they pulled off a great surprise in the finale."
Grivko left it to Breschel and his teammate Chris Anker Sørensen to close the gap after Ballan's attack at three kilometres out. No one caught Ballan, and Cunego led the sprint home over Breschel, Rebellin and Grivko.
Grivko expects to leave Team Milram at the end of this year. He indicated that there is a ninety percent chance he will sign with new Italian-Ukrainian Team ISD-Danieli.