Silence-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert scored his fourth victory of the season in the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday. The Belgian out-sprinted Giovanni Visconti (ISD) and Leonardo Bertagnolli (Diquigiovanni) from a 24-man breakaway to claim the win. Also present in the group was new World Champion Cadel Evans, who attacked repeatedly, setting up his teammate Gilbert nicely for the sprint when his attempts were unsuccessful.
"I was afraid of Visconti winning the race, in our group he was certainly one of the fastest riders," said Gilbert. "Cadel, however, was superb and he led me out in the sprint. This is a victory that boosts my morale and inspires me to do well in the last races of the season: Paris-Tours and Lombardy."
Visconti acknowledged the superiority of Gilbert in the Coppa Sabatini's finale. "Gilbert was better than me at the finish. I am satisfied, beyond the second place. I lost to a good rider who has used the valuable assistance of the world champion, just as happened to me two years ago with Bettini."
The Coppa Sabatini's winning move occurred in the opening kilometres when a group of 25 riders escaped from the peloton. Present in this move were Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans (Silence - Lotto), Giovanni Visconti, Ruslan Podgornyy and Bartosz Huzarski (ISD), Leonardo Bertagnolli, Alessandro Bertolini and Luca Solari (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli), Davide Malacarne (Quick Step), Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Centri Della Calzatura), Domenico Pozzovivo, Marcello Pavarin and Alan Marangoni (CSF Group - Navigare), Luca Mazzanti and Nikita Eskov (Team Katusha), Cristiano Salerno, Riccardo Chiarini and Matteo Montaguti (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini), Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez, Diego Caccia, Daryl Impey and Giampaolo Cheula (Barloworld), Vladimir Duma and Enrico Rossi (Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce) and Emanuele Sella (Carmiooro - A Style).
The escape quickly gained a one-minute advantage on the peloton fuelled by the pace-making efforts of LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini, ISD and Cadel Evans.
At the end of the fourth lap, the peloton, driven by Liquigas and Acqua & Sapone, closed to within 35 seconds of the break but that's as close as they would come to the escapees. During the fifth lap the break's advantage grew again leaving the 24 riders, absent Cheula who fell off the pace, to determine the Coppa Sabatini's victor.
The closing kilometres were marked by attacks from ISD riders as well as Cadel Evans, but the race came down to a bunch sprint easily won by Gilbert over Visconti and Bertagnolli.
|1||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence - Lotto||4:37:39|
|2||Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD|
|3||Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli|
|4||Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step|
|5||Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Centri Della Calzatura|
|6||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare|
|7||Marcello Pavarin (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare|
|8||Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli|
|9||Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha|
|10||Luca Solari (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli|
|11||Cristiano Salerno (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini||0:00:08|
|12||Alan Marangoni (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare|
|13||Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto|
|14||Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col) Barloworld|
|15||Vladimir Duma (Ukr) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce||0:00:11|
|16||Emanuele Sella (Ita) Carmiooro - A Style|
|17||Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha||0:00:17|
|18||Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini||0:00:21|
|19||Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld||0:00:27|
|20||Enrico Rossi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce||0:00:31|
|21||Daryl Impey (RSA) Barloworld||0:00:37|
|22||Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) ISD||0:00:54|
|23||Matteo Montaguti (Ita) LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini||0:01:27|
|24||Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD||0:01:54|