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Gesink rules on San Luca to win Emilia

By:
Gregor Brown

Rabobank climber surprises Fuglsang

Dutchman Robert Gesink (Rabobank) conquered the steep climb to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca in Bologna, Italy, to win the Giro dell'Emilia today. Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-HTC) finished second and third.

New World Champion Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) chased the leaders on the climb. He caught Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) and finished fourth.

Gesink, 23, caught Fuglsang to form the winning move with Vinokourov and Lövkvist after two of the five ascents of the San Luca climb.

Emilia is Gesink's first win since a crash forced him out of contention for the Vuelta a España overall victory last month. After the Vuelta, he recovered from a deep wound to his knee and raced the World Championships two weeks ago.

"It was time, after the bad luck," said Gesink. "Now I want Lombardia."

Fuglsang, 24, also faced Gesink at the Vuelta a España.

"For me it was not surprising to be in the finale," said Fuglsang. "I am still keen on going for the victory and I am still motivated despite the long season, I've been through in my first season as a professional."

100 years

The 92nd Giro dell'Emilia celebrated 100 years since its first edition in 1909. Today's 198.2-kilometre race began in Sassuolo, west of Bologna. It included the Monzuno and Loiano climbs prior to the finale: five ascents of the two-kilometre San Luca climb (215m of climbing, 10.8%).

Vladimir Duma (Ceramica Flaminia), Vitaly Kondrut (ISD), Aristide Ratti (CarmioOro - A-Style) and Alain Van Der Velde (Centri della Calzatura) escaped by kilometre 44. They had six minutes over the main group 67 kilometres into the race.

Duma lost contact by the first climb of San Luca. The remaining three led by 1'40" over the top.

The race re-shaped after the second climb of San Luca. Dane Fuglsang attacked to form an escape of four with Vinokourov, Gesink and Swede Lövkvist. They had 10 seconds on a chase group at the top of the fourth ascent of San Luca.

Fuglsang attacked prior to the final ascent of San Luca. Vinokourov led the other two back before the start of the final kilometre, halfway up San Luca. Frederik Willems (Liquigas) trailed by 17 seconds and a group with Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) chased at 35 seconds.

Vinokourov lost ground in the final ramps to San Luca's Sanctuary, home of Simon Gerrans' Giro d'Italia stage win in May. Australia's Evans gained on the front three, but failed to reach them before the finish line. He finished 25 second behind the front three, six seconds up on Vinokourov.

Italian Danilo Di Luca won the 2008 edition ahead of Davide Rebellin. Both riders tested positive for blood booster EPO-CERA in the last year.

Italian Costante Girardengo won the race a record five times (1918, 1919, 1921, 1922, 1925). Italians Fausto Coppi, Gianni Motta and Davide Cassani have each won three times.

 

Results
1 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 4:49:31  
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
3 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - Highroad    
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 0:00:20  
5 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:00:30  
6 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto 0:00:32  
7 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:40  
8 Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:43  
9 Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Fuji-Servetto    
10 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. 0:00:50  
11 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 0:00:53  
12 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 0:01:00  
13 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD    
14 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C. 0:01:03  
15 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 0:01:15  
16 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 0:01:20  
17 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad    
18 Chris Horner (USA) Astana    
19 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step 0:01:45  
20 Emaunele Sella (Ita) Carmiooro - A-Style 0:02:01  
21 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto    
22 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas 0:02:07  
23 Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 0:02:15  
24 Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr) ISD 0:02:20  
25 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale    
26 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Centri della Calzatura    
27 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia - Highroad    
28 Enrico Zen (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
29 Yauhen Sobal (Blr) Centri della Calzatura    
30 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank 0:02:27  
31 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank    
32 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha    
33 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:02:36  
34 Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce    
35 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step 0:02:51  
36 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha 0:02:57  
37 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 0:03:02  
38 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0:03:10  
39 Luca Zanasca (Ita) Centri della Calzatura 0:03:16  
40 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas    
41 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad 0:03:25  
42 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 0:03:30  
43 Francesco Failli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:03:41  
44 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld    
45 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:03:50  
46 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas 0:03:57  
47 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:04:15  
48 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas 0:05:10  
49 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana    
50 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:43  
51 Santo Anza (Ita) ISD 0:07:30  
52 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:08:30  
53 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.    
54 Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step    
55 Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld    
56 Luca Solari (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
57 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld    
58 Paolo Bialetti (Ita) Fuji-Servetto    
59 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step    
60 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
61 Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
62 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.