Marco Pinotti won his fourth career national time trial title on Saturday in Imola, Italy. He finished the 32.3-kilometre course from Mordano to Imola's Formula 1 race track ahead of Gabriele Bosisio and Maurizio Biondo to take the win for the third year in a row.
Pinotti set a time of 39:22 seconds. Bosisio was the only rider to finish within a minute of the Columbia-Highroad man, just 19 seconds in arrears. Biondo was 1:09 behind.
"I came out of the Giro d'Italia in very good shape," Pinotti said. "Then I deliberately didn't do the Tour of Switzerland so I could focus on the Italian national championships. It was a course that suited me well, fast at the start and then afterwards a bit hillier when we got on the circuit."
"The hardest part was handling the rain, it was the same for everybody but it made the course a bit dangerous – my back wheel slipped a couple of times."
One of the pre-race favourites Marzio Bruseghin was one of the unfortunate victims of the slick conditions, and lost his chance at taking the tricolore when he crashed 12km into the race. He lost a minute changing bikes, and finished sixth.
Pinotti, as last rider to start, said he rode most of the race unaware of whether his times were good enough to get him the win.
"I knew that I was ahead after 12 kilometres, but that was it. Afterwards I just kept going, I'd done the course the day before so I knew roughly how to calculate my strength."
Pinotti's fourth Italian time trial title makes him the outright record-holder for wins in the event. He was previously tied on victories with Marco Velo, who won in 1998, 1999 and 2000.