Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-ISD) confirmed his early-season form with an impressive victory at the Trofeo Laigueglia. The Italian was part of a move of ten or so riders that formed in the finale, and he accounted for Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Angelo Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) in an exciting sprint.
Third last season, Pietropolli was delighted to get the win in Laigueglia after a plethora of near-misses in recent years. “I’ve been a professional for eight seasons and if you look at the results of various editions of Laigueglia, you’ll find me in every position from second to tenth,” he said afterwards. “I was missing first place and I’m just so happy to have done it.”
The 30-year-old had to work hard for his victory as the leading group fragmented under impetus from Alessandro Ballan (BMC) in the closing stages. Pietropolli got back on at the red kite, and then found the wherewithal to launch his winning sprint.
“I was able to catch my breath for 200 metres and then the sprint started,” he said. “I had to shout at Vicioso to move out as he was closing me in and it was dangerous. I had to brake for an instant and then go again, but I managed it.”
Second-placed Ponzi had Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) to lead him out, but he too was forced to brake behind Vicioso in the finishing straight.
“A pity, because I was coming back really strongly, so much so that I passed Pietropolli just after the line,” Ponzi explained.
Basso to the fore
The Trofeo Laigueglia traditionally marks the beginning of the build-up to Milan-San Remo and it was no surprise to see a number of the stars of the Italian gruppo to the fore on the Ligurian coast after Pavel Brutt (Katusha Team) and José Cayetano Sarmiento (Acqua & Sapone), the remnants of the day’s early break, were swallowed up inside the final 40km.
On the climb of the Paravenna, 25km from the finish, a show of strength from Ivan Basso forced the major selection of the race. Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) and Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) were among the big names who were quick to counter Basso’s move, and when the dust had settled on the climb, an elite group of 34 had forged clear.
Fabio Taborre (Acqua&Sapone) led over the summit, and the frantic run-in to Laigueglia saw a flurry of attacks. Basso was again aggressive in the final 10km, but it was an attack by Ballan that ultimately split the leading group. The former world champion jumped clear on the outskirts of town, and a group of a dozen riders came together in the final kilometre, with Pietropolli, Fortunato Baliani (D'Angelo&Antonucci - Nippo) and Ryan Anderson (Spidertech) the last to make the juncture.
In the sprint, Pietropolli timed his acceleration to perfection to pip Ponzi for his second win of the season. The 30-year-old already tasted victory on the opening stage of the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria with a fine uphill sprint victory, as well as taking overall honours, and he gave another timely reminder of his condition here.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD||4:42:20|
|2||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|3||Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Androni Giocattoli|
|4||Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone|
|5||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha Team|
|6||Fortunato Baliani (Ita) d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo|
|7||Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|8||Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet|
|9||Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & Sapone|
|10||Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|11||Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale||0:00:52|
|12||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|13||Ryan Anderson (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|14||Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Androni Giocattoli|
|15||Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) Miche|
|16||Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli|
|17||Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|18||Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|19||Luca Ascani (Ita) d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo|
|20||Philipp Mamos (Ger) Amore & Vita|
|21||Edoardo Girardi (Ita) De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia|
|22||Andrea Noe (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli|
|23||Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Katusha Team|
|24||David Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|25||Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD|
|26||Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|27||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|28||Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|29||Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|30||Alessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone|
|31||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|32||Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team|
|33||Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli|
|34||Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|35||Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:06:05|
|36||Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha Team|
|37||Francois Parisien (Can) Team Spidertech Powered By C10|
|38||Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) FDJ|
|39||Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team Vorarlberg|
|40||Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Acqua & Sapone|
|41||Rémi Cusin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|42||Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Miche|
|43||Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|44||Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli|
|45||Paolo Bailetti (Ita) De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia|
|46||Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli|
|47||Simone Stortoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.
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