Gesink rules on San Luca to win Emilia

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.


1Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank4:49:31 
2Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
3Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - Highroad  
4Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto0:00:20 
5Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana0:00:30 
6Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto0:00:32 
7Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank0:00:40 
8Chris Anker Sorensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:00:43 
9Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Fuji-Servetto  
10Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.0:00:50 
11Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld0:00:53 
12Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare0:01:00 
13Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD  
14Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.0:01:03 
15Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli0:01:15 
16Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas0:01:20 
17Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - Highroad  
18Chris Horner (USA) Astana  
19Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step0:01:45 
20Emaunele Sella (Ita) Carmiooro - A-Style0:02:01 
21Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto  
22Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas0:02:07 
23Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini0:02:15 
24Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukr) ISD0:02:20 
25Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale  
26Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Centri della Calzatura  
27Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia - Highroad  
28Enrico Zen (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare  
29Yauhen Sobal (Blr) Centri della Calzatura  
30Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank0:02:27 
31Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank  
32Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha  
33Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo0:02:36 
34Leonardo Giordani (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia - Bossini Docce  
35Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step0:02:51 
36Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha0:02:57 
37Cristiano Salerno (Ita) LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini0:03:02 
38Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank0:03:10 
39Luca Zanasca (Ita) Centri della Calzatura0:03:16 
40Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas  
41Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia - Highroad0:03:25 
42Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha0:03:30 
43Francesco Failli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo0:03:41 
44Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld  
45Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo0:03:50 
46Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas0:03:57 
47Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha0:04:15 
48Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas0:05:10 
49Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana  
50Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:43 
51Santo Anza (Ita) ISD0:07:30 
52Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo0:08:30 
53Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  
54Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step  
55Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld  
56Luca Solari (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli  
57Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld  
58Paolo Bialetti (Ita) Fuji-Servetto  
59Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step  
60Fabio Taborre (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli  
61Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare  
62Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C.  


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