Davide Ballerini wins Memorial Pantani

Nibali's late attack pinned back in last kilometre

Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec) won the Memorial Marco Pantani after he out-paced 18-man leading group in Cesenatico. The Italian beat David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) into second place while his Androni teammate Francesco Gavazzi took third.

The final lap of the finishing circuit was animated by a late attack from Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who clipped clear of the front group with three kilometres remaining. Nibali, who was testing his sharpness in what is his final outing before next Sunday’s World Championships road race in Innsbruck, was caught within sight of the flamme rouge.

In the ensuing group sprint, Ballerini proved the quickest in the sprint to claim the biggest victory of his career to date. His victory also meant that all fifteen editions of the Memorial Marco Pantani have been won by Italian riders, dating back to Damiano Cunego’s win in the inaugural event in 2004.

Coming a week ahead of the Worlds, this year’s race served as an important tune-up for a number of contenders, including Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who rode strongly and finished in the front group. Italian national coach Davide Cassani fielded a strong squad that included Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates), a rider desperately in search of form ahead of next weekend’s appointment on Austrian roads.

The first break of the day took shape after 10 kilometres, with Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Alexander Evtushenko (Lokosphink) joining Samuele Battistella (Italy), Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy) and Davide Gaburro (Amore & Vita-Prodir) at the head of the race.

This quintet built up a lead of 6 minutes before Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida squad took up the reins of pursuit after 50km. Their pressure saw the gap reduced to 4 minutes come the top of the first climb of Montevecchio.

The race sparked into live on the second ascent of Montevecchio, when Quintana went on the offensive from the main peloton in the company of Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Eddie Dunbar (Team Sky), Dario Cataldo (Italy) and Marco Tizza (Nippo-Vini Fantini). This move was ultimately deemed too dangerous to be allowed clear, but only after a frantic pursuit that also saw the earlier escape snuffed out by the main bunch.

On the next climb, Dunbar was again on the offensive, and his initial forcing would help to trigger what proved to be the race-deciding move, as Vincenzo Nibali, Franco Pellizotti, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), David Gaudu-Groupama FDJ), Davide Brambilla (Italy), Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Serge Pauwels (Team Dimension Data), Davide Ballerini, Marco Cattaneo, Francesco Gavazzi, Fausto Masnada, (Androni-Sidermec), Warren Barguil (Team Fortuneo Samsic), Ivan Santaromita, Marco Tizza (Nippo Vini Fantini), Guillaume Martin and Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) joining the Irishman off the front.

Quintana and Gaudu were to the fore once they hit the climb of Longiano, but while they were unable to shed their companions, they did help to stretch the break’s lead out to two minutes, meaning that the race was down to just 18 contenders come the finishing circuit around Cesenatico.

Bahrain-Merida and Androni-Sidermec were the teams with strength in numbers on the run-in, and they duly exchanged the weightiest blows in the finale. Nibali’s attack with 3 kilometres remaining was a determined one, but the red jerseys of Androni massed on the front to bring him back. The stage was then set for Ballerini, who produced a fine sprint to claim the spoils.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec5:03:07 
2David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
3Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
4Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
5Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Italy  
6Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida  
7Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
8Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Sky  
9Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
10Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
11Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain - Merida  
12Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
13Serge Pauwels (Bel) Team Dimension Data  
14Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy  
15Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:03 
16Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
17Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:00:24 
18Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:00:40 
19Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini0:03:46 
20Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
21Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
22Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Italy  
23Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
24Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
25Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Wiggins  
26José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
27Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
28Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
29Danilo Celano (Ita) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
30Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
31Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
32Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
33Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
34Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team  
35Jon Irisarri Rincon (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga0:03:49 
36Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
37Ivan Martinelli (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
38Ettore Carlini (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
39Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky0:03:50 
40Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
41Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama - Fdj  
42Ben O'connor (Aus) Team Dimension Data0:03:51 
43Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
44Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky  
45Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
46Jérémy Maison (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
47Dario Cataldo (Ita) Italy  
48Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
49Joaquim Silva (Por) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
50Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
51Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia0:03:53 
52Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain - Merida  
53Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:03:57 
54Fabio Aru (Ita) Italy0:04:04 
55Davide Formolo (Ita) Italy  
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida  
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain - Merida  
DNFJorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFEduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar Team  
DNFNatnael Berhane (Eri) Team Dimension Data  
DNFScott Davies (GBr) Team Dimension Data  
DNFNicholas Dlamini (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Team Dimension Data  
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
DNFLeonardo Basso (Ita) Team Sky  
DNFChristopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFTobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFRomain Seigle (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFSamuele Battistella (Ita) Italy  
DNFAlessandro Covi (Ita) Italy  
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFMattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFVincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFMichael Bresciani (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFMirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFJulen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
DNFJustin Alexander Oien (USA) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
DNFJosu Zabala Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
DNFYannis Yssaad (Fra) Caja Rural - Seguros Rga  
DNFAmaro Antunes (Por) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFFrantisek Sisr (Cze) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFPiotr Brozyna (Pol) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFPawel Cieslik (Pol) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFPatryk Stosz (Pol) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFKamil Malecki (Pol) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFMichal Paluta (Pol) Ccc Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFElie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFKevin Ledanois (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFAmael Moinard (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFFranck Bonnamour (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
DNFSergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
DNFStepan Kuriyanov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
DNFDenis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom - Rusvelo  
DNFMatteo Badilatti (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic  
DNFJose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFKrists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFKristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFDaniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFNicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFSho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFJuan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFThomas Deruette (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNFEliot Lietaer (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNFKenny Molly (Bel) Ago - Aqua Service  
DNFChristophe Masson (Fra) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNFJulien Mortier (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNFAntoine Warnier (Bel) Wb Aqua Protect Veranclassic  
DNFMiguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
DNFLuca Pacioni (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
DNFGiuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
DNFSimone Antonini (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFOdd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFMarco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert  
DNFAlberto Amici (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFRaul Colombo (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFLorenzo Delcó (Swi) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFKevin Colleoni (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFEnrico Salvador (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFMichel Piccot (Ita) Biesse Carrera Gavardo  
DNFFederico Zurlo (Ita) Mstina Focus  
DNFMattia Marcelli (Ita) Mstina Focus  
DNFAndrea Ruscetta (Ita) Mstina Focus  
DNFRiccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Mstina Focus  
DNFDenis Marian Vulcan (Rom) Mstina Focus  
DNFElia Ciabocco (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFLuca Colnaghi (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFAntonio Di Sante (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFMatteo Draperi (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFAlessandro Marinozzi (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFGeremia Goffi (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis - Vega  
DNFAlexander Evtushenko (Rus) Lokosphinx  
DNFArseny Nikiforov (Rus) Lokosphinx  
DNFDmitrii Sokolov (Rus) Lokosphinx  
DNFAlexander Vdovin (Rus) Lokosphinx  
DNFSavva Novikov (Rus) Lokosphinx  
DNFMarco Bernardinetti (Ita) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFMichele Corradini (Ita) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFDavide Gabburo (Ita) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFViesturs Luksevics (Lat) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFColin Chris Stüssi (Swi) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFMirko Trosino (Ita) Amore & Vita - Prodir  
DNFFrancesco Bettini (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
DNFAndrea Garosio (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
DNFEmanuele Onesti (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
DNFFranco Orocito (Arg) D'amico Utensilnord  
DNFAngelo Raffaele (Ita) D'amico Utensilnord  
DNFKristijan Budimir (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNFDavid Jabuka (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNFEmanuel Kiserlovski (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNFAntonino Schillaci Pugliese (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNFMatteo Rabottini (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNFIvan Vojskovic (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team  
DNSMateo Frankovic (Cro) Meridiana Kamen Team  

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