Colbrelli wins Gran Piemonte

Senechal second, Ballerini third in Italian semi-classic sprint

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won a rain-soaked edition of Gran Piemonte on Thursday, taking a well-executed victory on a messy run to the line in Stupinigi.

The Italian, who won the Coppa Bernocchi last month along with finishing runner-up at the GP de Montreal and Coppa Sabatini, was the favourite for the victory on the largely flat course, though the weather conditions would always complicate matters in a race that has seen late attackers spring surprises on the peloton in recent years.

Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal) rolled the dice in the final couple of kilometres and although he didn’t succeed in holding onto his advantage, the bunch duly split on the approach to the line. Colbrelli was alert and found himself up front with a teammate and, sensing hesitation from those around him, opened up his sprint from range.

He quickly opened up a big gap and the victory was in the bag, with Florian Senechal (Quick-Step Floors) finishing second and Davide Ballerini (Androni) taking the final spot on the podium.

"With 350m to go, I decided to go for it. That's my style, and I just said, 'if they pass me, they pass me'," said Colbrelli.

"I'm very happy to end this season with a victory. It was very dangerous, there were crashes, but when it's wet, it’s always like that."

The long-running Italian one-day race was back in its usual slot this year after being packaged up as part of the Italian national championships last year on an altogether hillier affair won by Fabio Aru.

Despite the flatter nature of the parcours, the likes of Jan Bakelants and Rigoberto Uran had upset the sprinters in the previous couple of editions. Even when it has ended in a sprint, it has rarely been clean, full-peloton affair. The weather only added to the list of complications as the rain fell all day in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, leaving the peloton heavily reduced as it approached the finish.

A breakaway formed in the opening kilometres, with Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team), Mikkel Frolich Honoré (Quick-Step Floors), Matteo Sobrero (Dimension Data) and Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates) opening up a lead of a few minutes before being kept on a relatively tight leash.

That was cause for Lotto Soudal to execute what was almost a full-team attack as Keukeleire, Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, and Maxime Monfort all went clear from the bunch. With Cyrus Monk (EF-Drapac) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana) tagging on, they made their way across to the breakway to make it a group of 11 out front.

At that point, the gap was small, and there was an inevitable reaction in the peloton, and the race all came back together with 68km to go. Matti Breschel (EF-Drapac) and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) went on the move and were later joined by Davide Ballerini (Androni Sidermec) and Andriy Grivko (Astana). When Ballereini and Grivko crashed, and Marcato was held up, Breschel was forced into a solo effort.

With just under 50km to go, he had company once more as Grivko, refusing to give in, set off from the peloton once more. The partnership only lasted 8km, though, as Breschel couldn’t hold the pace and Grivko was left alone.

The Ukranian put up a brave fight and had a lead of a minute at one point, but the game was up with 13km to go as Bahrain-Merida and Bardiani-CSF took control of the peloton.

Julien Vermote (Dimension Data) had a tentative dig off the front in the closing kilometres but Keukeleire sparked real danger with his attack 1.5km out. Colbrelli was up near the front and had a teammate to help shut the gap, and a group of 10 entered the final 500 metres to contest the victory.

Colbrelli could have waited, but he sensed an opportunity and boldly went from range. Senechal was looking over his other shoulder at the time and was left with the bitter taste of regret. "I'm happy," he said, "but I could have won that."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida4:20:50 
2Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors  
3Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
4Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Katusha-Alpecin  
5Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
6Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
7Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
8Andrea Guardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
9Barnabás Peák (Hun) Quick-Step Floors0:00:02 
10Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
11Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
12Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
13Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky  
14Omer Goldshtein (Isr) Israel-Cycling Academy  
15Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
16Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin  
17Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
18Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
19Cyrus Monk (Aus) Drapac Ef P/B Cannondale Holistic Development Team  
20Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data  
21Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Team Waoo  
22German Nicolas Tivani Perez (Arg) Trevigiani Phonix - Hemus 1896  
23José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
24Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
25Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Dimension Data  
26Evgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
27Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel-Cycling Academy  
28Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin  
29Roman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
30Michael Bresciani (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
31Marco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:00:12 
32Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:00:14 
33James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal0:00:16 
34Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:17 
35Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team  
36Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky  
37Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:27 
38Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:32 
39Freddy Ovett (Aus) Australian Cycling Academy - Ride Sunshine Coast  
40Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
41Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
42Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
43Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
44Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
45Alexander Evans (Aus) Mobius Bridgelane  
46Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
47Vladislav Kulikov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
48Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
49Andrea Garosio (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
50Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale  
51Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
52Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
53Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
54Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
55Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
56Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
57Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:37 
58Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:39 
59Guy Niv (Isr) Israel-Cycling Academy  
60Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
61José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
62Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
63Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida  
64Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team  
65Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
66Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
67Winner Andrew Anacona (Col) Movistar Team  
68Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic  
69Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
70Filippo Zaccanti (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini0:00:44 
71Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data  
72Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale  
73Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
74Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team  
75Awet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel-Cycling Academy  
76Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:48 
77Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team  
78Luca Raggio (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
79Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:03 
80Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:01:35 
81Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:01:45 
82Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Movistar Team  
83Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo0:01:50 
84Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:06 
85Maxim Pirard (Bel) Bahrain-Merida0:03:11 
DNSPawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNSMarco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNSEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
DNFAndrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec  
DNFSergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDamiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDavide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFEmanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFRafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFSergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo  
DNFJose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Israel-Cycling Academy  
DNFRuben Plaza (Spa) Israel-Cycling Academy  
DNFTim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFTiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFBjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJoan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNFEduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNFJuan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNFMarco Tizza (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini  
DNFKasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data  
DNFMekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data  
DNFJoseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale  
DNFJosé Fernandes Neves (Por) W52/Fc Porto  
DNFIlnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFRobert Kišerlovski (Cro) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFSimon Špilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFEgan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
DNFDavid De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Sky  
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFMiguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  
DNFNicholas Rinaldi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia  

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