Complete Live Report
Autumn in Italy! The Giro dell'Emilia is one of a series of one-day races leading up to the grand finale in Lombardia.
15:00:17 CESTThe Autumn season has started and we are right there! Today the cycling world takes on the Giro dell'Emilia.
15:04:54 CESTThe 223km Giro dell'Emilia starts in Bologna and finishes with the challenging finishing loop in San Luca.
15:08:08 CESTAfter 142 km, we have a group of eight riders with a lead of 2:50.
15:10:20 CESTThose eight riders are: Davide Ballerini (Androni Sidermec), Redi Halilaj (Amore e Vita Selle SMP), Francois Bidard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis Solutions Credits), Fabien Doubey (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani - Csf) and Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini).
There is also a Giro dell'Emilia Donne, which was held earlier today. It was won by Tatiana Guderzo (Naz Italiana) ahead of Rossella Ratto (Cylance) and Rasa Leleiyvite (Aromitalia Vaiano).
Elsewere in cycling, Mathieu van der Poel says he is aiming to ride the MTB race in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and only after that will he concentrate on road racing.
Officials have changed the results of the women's race with second and third swapping places. We now have Rasa Leleiyvite second and Rossella Ratto third.
We have a number of top teams and top riders here today. Esteban Chaves of Orica-Scott is here to defend his title, but will face such talents as Vincenzo Nibali (Bahran-Merida), Thibaut Pinot (FdJ), and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale).
Dimension Data's Adrien Niyonshuti had been in the break group earlier, but was dropped.
With 40 km to go, the gap has dropped to just over two minutes.
The race today ends with four laps of a closing circuit course. Each lap includes the San Luca climb, 2.1km long with an average gradient of 9.6% -- and a max of 18%! The race also ends atop this steep climb.
The climbing starts, the lead group shatters and the gap is down to a minute.
Edet leads a group of three over the finish line for the first time.
The three leaders are Edet, Mosca and Doubey. Ballerini is struggling to catch up.
Two riders have jumped from the field.
More and more riders take off from the chasing peloton. The first two have now caught Ballerini.
G. Martin, Cherel and Ballerini are now the first chase group, behind Edet, Mosca and Dobey, with 31 km to go. Sorry, we aren't getting any time gaps.
Visconti has joined the three chasers.
UP they all go again, and how very difficult this is!
Ballerini has been dropped from the chase group, and the remaining three are 45 seconds back.
They have been passed by Bongiorni but the peloton is only a few meters back.
The climb flattens out at the top, and Edet once again flies over the finish line as first.
They are now being chased by Zardini and Bongiorno.
The two chasers are rapidly nearing the three leaders.
They have not yet caught up, and the three up front fly down the descent.
We now hear the leading trio has 1 seconds on the chasers, with the field at 29 seconds.
21 km to go. The 2 chasers have the lead riders in sight, but just can't catch up.
So of course they have now caught up, and Doubey immediately drops back. Mosca jumps as they head up the San Luca yet again.
Luke Rowe (Sky) managed to break more than 20 bones in one leg and foot this summer. He is working hard to heal up and make his comeback to cycling -. probably next summer.
It ws too much for the previous three leaders, and now Zanini and Bongiorno have 10 seconds on the pack.
Bahrain Merida is leading the chase, with Sky right behind them.
With 19.3 km to go the Bahrain Merida train catches and passes the two leaders.
They have hit the top. Only two more laps to go!
Four Bahrain Merida riders continue to dominate the head of the race. Chaves is in there, too. Fabio Aru is also here, but as we have come to expect from him, he is not near the front.
16.4 km and Visconti attacks from the field!
He has quickly built up a tidy gap.
Visconti flies along here, and the other teams at 13 seconds back realize they really ought to give chase.
Visconti heads up the climb for the penultimate time, 11.5km to go.
FdJ, riding for Pinot, now leading the chase.
Visconti has increased his gap to 24 seconds with 10.6km to go.
It would probably be incorrect to say the peloton is chasing Visconti. The group has become significantly smaller.
Visconti crosses the finish line and kicks off the bell lap!
Now comes the question: Will Bahrain Merida allow Visconti to go for the win, or are they planning an attack and join-up by Nibali?
Visconti has taken 25 seconds with him on this final lap.
The chasing field looks to be 20-30 men strong.
Daniel Martinez tries to jump from the group, but Bahrain's Pelizotti is right there to bring him back.
A nasty crash sees three riders go down.
Chaves was leading the pack when he slid out, flew across the road and into the grassy hillside. Two others couldn't avoid him, but they were able to continue. It did not appear that Chaves got up.
That certainly slowed thing down for the moment, and Visconti's gap is up to 32 seconds.
Visconti of course has no idea of what happened behind him and heads up the San Luca climb for the last tie. With 34 seconds, he has excellent chances of winning.
A Cannondale rider attacks on the final climb but can't get away.
1.6km for Visconti and 28 seconds!
Sky tries desperately to to catch the Italian. He is now in the final km.
The Sky rider is Moscon, and NIbali is with him.
.7 km and the gap is down to 15 seconds.
Uran, Roche, Moscon and Nibali have formed a chase group.
They won't make it. Visconti has plenty of time to shake his head in disbelief, zip up his jersey and raise his arms in celebration as he takes the win.
A double victory for Bahrain Merida, as Nibali crosses the finish line as second. Uran was third.
We are keeping an ear out for news on Chaves and hope it wasn't as bad as it looked.
"Thi is a dream come true," the winner says. "This is the best win of my whole pro career."
It seems unlikely Bahrain Merida sent Visconti up the road to take the win, but kudos to them for seeing how the race situation changed and then riding for him. His teammates, including Nibali, kept things calm behind him and choked off chase attempts.
The final time gaps were 11 seconds for Nibali and 14 seconds for Uran.
Orica Scott says that Chaves is "ok" and on his way to hospital for x-rays.
Read all about it here, in our race analysis and report.
17:23:53 CESTResults#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida5:31:22 2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:00:11 3Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:14 4Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:00:17 5Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:00:22 6Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:25 7Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 8Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 9Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:31 10Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
let's see if we can't do something with that format....
1 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 05:31:22
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:11
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac 00:00:14
4 Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team 00:00:17
5 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 00:00:22
6 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:25
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:25
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 00:00:25
9 Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott 00:00:31
10 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:31
That's it for the Giro dell'Emilia! Thanks for reading along.