Fabio Aru solos to first Italian road race title

Ulissi second from chase group, Nocentini third

Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first win of 2017 at the Italian national championship road race on Sunday, right on time ahead of his second Tour de France appearance. The 26-year-old soloed to victory in Ivrea, with UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi claiming second and Rinaldo Nocentini (Sporting Clube de Portugal/Tavria) rounding out the podium in third.

"I'm really happy to win today after all the difficult moments I experienced this year", Aru said after his victory. "Initially the course might have looked easy but the climb was really hard. On Tuesday, I came to recon it with Paolo [Tiralongo]. From then on, I believed I had my chance to become the Italian champion. I never experienced that before. In the u23, I finished second. That was my best result so far. I'm really happy to have made my dream come true today. It's an immense satisfaction. The competition was so high with [Gianni] Moscon, [Damiano] Caruso, my friend Diego Ulissi and many others on good form."

The Italian championship was organized by RCS Sport from Asti to Ivrea in Piedmont as if it was the Gran Piemonte won in September last year by the 2016 Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo. But it was a harder course this time around, with a seven-kilometre climb of La Serra to be done four times on a final circuit of 21.3 kilometres. Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simone Sterbini (Bardiani CSF) and Ettore Carlini (d'Amico Ustensilnord), the attackers from kilometre 22, got caught in the second last lap by a group of 25 riders that included all the favourites, among them Vincenzo Nibali, who riding in support of Bahrain-Merida teammate Giovanni Visconti. However, the strong selection couldn't hold Aru in check.

"My plan was to go flat out from the bottom of the climb in the last lap," said Aru who followed the plan at perfection. "Once I made a gap, I was informed kilometre by kilometre. I couldn't believe it when I heard that I was 40 seconds ahead. Looking at the speed, I was always between 50 and 52 kilometres an hour. I was feeling strong."

"Being four riders swapping turns, we didn't regain any time on Fabio", third-placed Nocentini noted. "He impressed me really. As I saw him going as strongly at the Dauphiné, I understood he would be hard to beat. I hope he'll win the Tour de France too. I'm looking forward to see another Italian in the yellow jersey, like me eight years ago and Nibali three years ago. It's very important for me to make the podium of the Italian championship. Being part of a Portuguese team, I almost never race in Italy. Two months ago I didn't know if I'd ride the nationals or not. When I decided to do it, I prepared well for it."

Runner up Ulissi was also full of praise for Aru. "He demonstrated to have better legs than anyone else", the Tuscan said. "He deserves the win. As for myself, I can go to the Tour de France with ambition. The good work is paying off. I hope to win a stage."

Aru concluded the afternoon on a serious note with emotional words for his tragically deceased team-mate Michele Scarponi. "During a training ride in Sierra Nevada, we exchanged jerseys because I had the extra-small size and I wanted to try the small," the Sardinian revealed. "I haven't told anyone but since I've resumed racing, I've been racing with Michele's jersey. I wanted to offer it after my first victory to his wife Anna and his children Giacomo and Tommaso. I'll deliver the jersey to them."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team5:52:31 
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:40 
3Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Sporting / Tavira  
4Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
5Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky  
6Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:00:48 
7Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
8Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
9Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
10Davide Rebellin (Ita) Kuwait - Cartucho.es0:00:50 
11Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:00:58 
12Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:13 
13Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:48 
14Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:03:53 
15Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
16Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:05:27 
17Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
18Marco Zamparella (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest0:06:24 
19Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
20Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:06:25 
21Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:08:56 
22Nicolas Samparisi (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
23Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
24Adriano Brogi (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
25Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data  
26Marco Tizza (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
27Simone Velasco (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
28Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
29Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
30Antonino Casimir Parrinello (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
31Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky  
32Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
33Fabio Tommassini (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
34Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
35Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky  
36Michele Gazzara (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
37Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
38Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
39Davide Pacchiardo (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
40Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
41Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
42Andrea Ruscetta (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
43Raffaello Bonusi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
44Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:15:10 
45Nicola Gaffurini (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
46Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:15:12 
47Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team  
48Paolo Toto' (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis0:16:35 
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFEdward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFMarco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFFilippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFManuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFRiccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMoreno Moser (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMatteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMarco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFManuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDaniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFManuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFAlessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFFabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ  
DNFJacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ  
DNFElia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFPaolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFVincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFLuca Wackermann (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFPaolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFMarco Maronese (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFSimone Sterbini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFDamiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFGiacomo Berlato (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFMichele Scartezzini (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
DNFNiccolò Salvietti (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
DNFPaolo Prandini (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
DNFNicola Baglioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFAntonio Di Sante (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFLuca Chirico (Ita) Torku Sekerspor  
DNFAlberto Cecchin (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFAngelo Vitiello (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
DNFFrancesco Petrini (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
DNFEttore Carlini (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
DNFFederico Canuti (Ita) d'Amico - Utensilnord  
DNFMichael Bresciani (Ita) Bardiani - CSF  
DNFNicolò Pacinotti (Ita) Bardiani - CSF  
DNFEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani - CSF  
DNFRiccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFAlex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFMirko Trosino (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFJakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFLiam Bertazzo (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFSimone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFAndrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMatteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAndrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFLuca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMatteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMarco Benfatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  

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