Giovanni Visconti took the second Italian road race title of his career with a solo attack on the last lap of the Italian championships held in Conegliano on Saturday afternoon.
Visconti's ISD-Neri team was not invited to this year's Giro d'Italia and the proud Sicilian wanted to prove a point by winning a second tricolore jersey, three years after taking his first in 2007. Visconti crossed the line alone, waving an Italian flag.
Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas-Doimo) finished second and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) was third a few seconds behind.
"This win pays me back for the hard work and all the sacrifices I've made all year," an emotional Visconti said.
"I want to dedicate it to my family. I really wanted a second Italian title after winning in Genoa in 2007 and taking second in 2008. I love the Italian championships and so I'm over the moon. My team isn’t second best to anybody else and my hands in the air proved that."
The testing course around Conegliano, in the heart of the Italian cycling industry in the Veneto region, included two difficult climbs on each of the 11 23.7km laps, with the Ca' del Poggio climb near the finish being especially steep.
An early break of 20 riders formed after 30km of racing, hoping to stay away all day. However after a constant chase by Liquigas-Doimo and then several minor counter attacks, Visconti took control of the race with two laps to go. He went clear with Riccardo Riccò (Ceramica Flaminia) and Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil) on the Ca' del Poggio, with a select chase group forming behind them.
As the bell rang to signal the last lap, the trio were joined by a chase group of 14 riders that included Ballan, Failli, Bertagnolli, Sella, Baliani, Muto, Nocentini, Capecchi and Pozzovivo. Damiano Cunego was at 28 seconds, with the bunch, including Ivan Basso at 48 seconds.
Visconti then attacked alone on the easier but longer Coste climb and the other riders hesitated, giving Visconti a golden opportunity. He quickly opened a 20-second gap and set off in pursuit of success.
At the start of the final climb of the Ca' del Poggio, Visconti had a 50 second cushion and paced himself on the steep gradient. Bertagnolli e Riccò attacked and closed the gap slightly but they had left it far too late. In the final kilometre, Visconti had time to collect an Italian flag and wave it over his head as he savoured a special victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Giovanni Visconti (ISD Neri Giambenini)||6:46:36|
|2||Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas-Doimo)||0:00:46|
|3||Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team)||0:00:50|
|4||Fortunato Baliani (Miche)|
|5||Emanuele Sella (Carmiooro-NGC)|
|6||Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre - Farnese Vini)|
|7||Pasquale Muto (Miche)|
|8||Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2R La Mondiale)|
|9||Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni)||0:00:58|
|10||Riccardo Ricco' (Ceramica Flaminia)||0:01:25|
|11||Francesco Failli (Acqua & Sapone)|
|12||Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago - CSF Inox)|
|13||Eros Capecchi (Footon - Servetto)||0:01:48|
|14||Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing Team)||0:02:44|
|15||Daniele Callegarin (CDC Cavaliere)|
|16||Damiano Cunego (Lampre - Farnese Vini)|
|17||Riccardo Chiarini (De Rosa - Stacplastic)|
|18||Alessandro Bertuola (Kalev Chukulate)|
|19||Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre - Farnese Vini)|
|20||Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)|
|21||Davide Torosantucci (CDC Cavaliere)||0:07:08|
|22||Francesco Bellotti (Liquigas-Doimo)|
|23||Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone)|
|24||Carlo Scognamiglio (ISD Neri Giambenini)|
|25||Daniele Colli (Ceramica Flaminia)|
|26||Marco Corti (Footon - Servetto)|
|27||Davide Appollonio (Cervelo Test Team)|
|28||Aristide Ratti (Carmiooro-NGC)|
|29||Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)|
|30||Andrea Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone)|
|31||Massimiliano Gentili (Ceramica Flaminia)|
|32||Manuele Mori (Lampre - Farnese Vini)|
|33||Paolo Bailetti (Ceramica Flaminia)|
|34||Francesco Di Paolo (Acqua & Sapone)|
|35||Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago - CSF Inox)|
|36||Marcello Pavarin (Colnago - CSF Inox)|
|37||Enrico Magazzini (Lampre - Farnese Vini)|
|38||Enrico Zen (Colnago - CSF Inox)|
|39||Marzio Bruseghin (Caisse d'Epargne)|
|40||Sergio Lagana' (De Rosa - Stacplastic)|
|41||Damiano Caruso (De Rosa - Stacplastic)|
|42||Giairo Ermeti (De Rosa - Stacplastic)|
|43||Vincenzo Garofalo (Team Nippo)|
|44||Fabrice Piemontesi (Androni Giocattoli-Diquigiovanni)|
|45||Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)||0:17:02|
|46||Andrea Tonti (Carmiooro-NGC)|
|47||Roberto Cesaro (Miche)|
|48||Emanuele Vona (ISD Neri Giambenini)|
|49||Oscar Gatto (ISD Neri Giambenini)|