Viviani victorious in Memorial Marco Pantani

Serpa, Belletti round out podium

First year professional Elia Viviani gave the Liquigas-Doimo team its 35th victory of the season by taking the Memorial Marco Pantani with a powerful sprint finish.

Viviani sparked the early breakaway that decided the race and then won the sprint thanks to some work from teammate Tiziano Dall'Antonia. He beat Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli) and local hero Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF) in the sprint, hitting the front with 150 metres to go.

Viviani only turned professional in April after an impressive amateur career on the track. He used his sprint skills to take his first win at the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

"After studying the course yesterday, I thought there'd be a split and that's why I really tried to make the early break," Viviani said.

"Thanks to everyone working hard, we made it to the finish and I got on Belletti's wheel, which was the right one. I went past him with 150 metres to go and I was able to do it thanks to the great work done by my teammate Dall'Antonia.

"When I first turned professional I was scared it'd be a big step up but it was happened quicker than I thought. I've worked really hard to be physically stronger and be on form for the end of the season. I feel good and despite winning two races, I'm not going to ease up. My next goal is the Circuit Franco-Belge."

The Memorial Marco Pantani is held every year to remember the late Italian climber who won the 1998 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France but who died tragically after a cocaine overdose.

The race was held on Pantani's training roads near Cesenatico on the Italian Adriatic coast and Viviani sparked the break after just 29 kilometres of racing. He was quickly joined by other riders until a group of 26 formed and worked closely together.

The peloton tried to chase the move but the break was determined to stay away and the peloton sat up after 122km of fast racing. The peloton was eventually pulled out by race officials worried about the road safety.

Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) attacked alone on the key climb of the hilly main circuit but was caught as the break headed back to Cesenatico for the final flat finishing circuits. Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Farnese Vini) tried a solo move but the work of Dall'Antonia brought the race back together and set up Viviani for his winning sprint.

Full Results
1Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo4:23:31 
2Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli  
3Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
4Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
5Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri  
6Matteo Montaguti (Ita) De Rosa - Stac Plastic  
7Alessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
8Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia  
9Pasquale Muto (Ita) Miche  
10Volodymyr Starchyk (Ukr) Amore & Vita - Conad  
11Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
12Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
13Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
14Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
15Francesco Tizza (Ita) Carmiooro NGC0:00:01 
16Luca Solari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
17Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
18Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:00:03 
19Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:00:05 
20Simone Ponzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini0:00:08 
21Tiziano Dall'Antonia (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo0:00:15 
22Alan Marangoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:00:32 
23Diego Alejandro Tamayo Martinez (Col) Carmiooro NGC0:08:48 


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