Blel Kadri wins Roma Maxima

AG2R wins Italian one day race

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) won the Roma Maxima race alone in the centre of the Eternal city after being in the break of the race and spending a total of 127km out front.

The Frenchman fought like a gladiator as he held off a chase group on the fast run-in to Rome and was able to cross the line alone, with the Coliseum and the Fori Imperiali ruins offering a stunning backdrop to his surprise but well–deserved victory.

Kadri finished 37 seconds ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) and Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM). Pozzato threw his arms in the air thinking he had won the race but quickly realised his mistake and was left to rue yet another missed opportunity.

Kadri had won only a stage of the Route du Sud in 2010 before his success in the centre of Rome, but won after a pulling out superb performance. He had been a late replacement for a teammate for the Italian weekend of races but won in style.

"I wasn’t going to ride but Steve Chainel was ill, he couldn’t come, so the team asked if I was motivated to ride. I could have gone home this morning but I spoke to my coach and he said yes," Kadri explained in the winner's press conference.

"On the podium I thought that, sometimes, you work hard and going for it pays off. Luck doesn't often smile on you but it did this time. I’m very, very happy."

The last gladiator standing

The 180km race started with a long ride south, some tough climbs in the Roman hills, including the steep Campi di Annibale climb, and then a fast run in to the finish near the Coliseum.

Kadri was part of the five-rider break that got away after 53km of fast racing. Also in there were Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural), Christophe Premont (Crelan-Euphony), Pim Lightart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Albert Timmer (Argos-Shimano) and they worked well together, opening a lead of up to eight-minutes.

The climbs took their toll on the break, with Movistar doing much of the work to perhaps set up Alejandro Valverde. However Kadri seized the initiative on the Campi di Annibale climb and powered on alone after dropping Cardoso and the others.

It seemed like an audacious move, with 40km still to race but the Frenchman never gave up and looked strong. A chase group of five riders emerged on the steep slopes of Campi di Annibale, including Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). However Kadri was a minute clear and managed to hold the gap all the way to the outskirts of Rome.

Pozzato and other sprinters got back onto the main peloton and then eventually caught the other four with a kilometre to go but Kadri was out of reach and able to celebrate on the paved road of the Fori Imperiali. He was the last gladiator standing after a breakaway of 127km.

"I knew I had to believe I had a chance and just gave it 100 per cent. I said if I blow or not, tant pis! The fast roads to the finish helped me but I was surprised to make it to the finish," he said, overjoyed to have won a big race.

With no race radio allowed at Roma Maxima, Pozzato and most of the chasers did not know that Kadri was still away in the finale. The Italian charged down he cobbled finishing straight and thought he'd won. He was wrong. Kadri had been stronger and was awarded the olive wreath crown as the new emperor of Roma Maxima.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4:26:27 
2Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:37 
3Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
4Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
5Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
6Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia  
7Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
8Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
9Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
10Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha  
11Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
12Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
13Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
14Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural  
15Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha  
16Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
17Francois Parisien (Can) Team Argos-Shimano  
18Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
19Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
20Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
21Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Katusha  
22Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
23Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural  
24Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli  
25Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
26Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling  
27Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
28Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
29Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
30Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling  
31Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
32Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team  
33Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
34Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
35Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia  
36Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
37Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
38Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural  
39Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:46 
40Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:48 
41Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha0:01:30 
42Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:07 
43Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:12 
44Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
45Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural  
46Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano  
47Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
48Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
49Francisco Javier Moreno Allue (Spa) Caja Rural  
50Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
51Gilles Devillers (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
52Rémi Cusin (Fra) IAM Cycling  
53Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team  
54Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
55Dalivier Ospina Navarro (Col) Colombia  
56Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
57Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team  
58Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha  
59Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia  
60Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
61Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
62Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha  
63Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
64Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia  
65Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano  
66Juraj Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
67Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
68Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
69Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
70Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
71Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida  
72Patrick Schelling (Swi) IAM Cycling  
73Sylvain Georges (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
74Francesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
75Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
76Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
77Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
78Fabio Taborre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
79Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
80Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia  
81Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Caja Rural  
82Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling  
83John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
84Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia  
85Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
86Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
87Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team  
88Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  
89Daniel Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural0:04:51 
90Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:06:37 
91Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia  
92Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha  
93Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) IAM Cycling  
94Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
95Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano  
96Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
97Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
98Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team  
99Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC Racing Team0:09:50 
100Klaas Sys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
101Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Col) Colombia  
102Joeri Bueken (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
103Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
104Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
105Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
106Stijn Steels (Bel) Crelan-Euphony  
107Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano  
108Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
109Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony  
110Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
111Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team  
112Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
113Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
114Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
115Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural  
116Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Argos-Shimano  
117Donato De Ieso (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox  

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