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Blel Kadri wins Roma Maxima

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Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocattoli)

Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) during his lengthy solo break.

Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) during his lengthy solo break.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) at the finish

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) at the finish
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cunego and Pozzato at the finish of Roma Maxima

Cunego and Pozzato at the finish of Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Dalivier Ospina (Colombia)

Dalivier Ospina (Colombia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with his family at the start

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with his family at the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The riders roll at the start of the Roma Maxima

The riders roll at the start of the Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The start of Roma Maxima

The start of Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre - Merida) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the front

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre - Merida) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) on the front
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Mauro Santambrogio (Fantini Vini - Selle Italia)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Mauro Santambrogio (Fantini Vini - Selle Italia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Valerio Agnoli (Astana)

Valerio Agnoli (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) strikes for home

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) strikes for home
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) hung on to win Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) hung on to win Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads a lake break

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) leads a lake break
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre - Merida)

Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre - Merida)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damiano Cunego (Lampre - Merida)

Damiano Cunego (Lampre - Merida)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Colombia team at the start of Roma Maxima

The Colombia team at the start of Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Scenic scenes at the Roma Maxima

Scenic scenes at the Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli)

Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The peloton race towards Roma for the Roma Maxima

The peloton race towards Roma for the Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) manages to stay clear of the chasing bunch

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) manages to stay clear of the chasing bunch
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale)

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli)

Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) drives the break

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) drives the break
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) increases the pace

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) increases the pace
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The field during the Roma Maxima

The field during the Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Pozzato, Kadri and Bole on the podium at Roma Maxima

Pozzato, Kadri and Bole on the podium at Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (AG2R - La Mondiale) wins Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) holds on to win Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) holds on to win Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) thought he'd won the race

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) thought he'd won the race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM)

Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) had to settle for second

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) had to settle for second
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) waves to the crowd after winning Roma Maxima

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) waves to the crowd after winning Roma Maxima
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) on the podium

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) on the podium
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Steve Cummings (BMC)

Steve Cummings (BMC)
(Image credit: Sirotti)

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) won the Roma Maxima race alone in the centre of the Eternal city after being in the break of the race and spending a total of 127km out front.

The Frenchman fought like a gladiator as he held off a chase group on the fast run-in to Rome and was able to cross the line alone, with the Coliseum and the Fori Imperiali ruins offering a stunning backdrop to his surprise but well–deserved victory.

Kadri finished 37 seconds ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) and Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM). Pozzato threw his arms in the air thinking he had won the race but quickly realised his mistake and was left to rue yet another missed opportunity.

Kadri had won only a stage of the Route du Sud in 2010 before his success in the centre of Rome, but won after a pulling out superb performance. He had been a late replacement for a teammate for the Italian weekend of races but won in style.

"I wasn’t going to ride but Steve Chainel was ill, he couldn’t come, so the team asked if I was motivated to ride. I could have gone home this morning but I spoke to my coach and he said yes," Kadri explained in the winner's press conference.

"On the podium I thought that, sometimes, you work hard and going for it pays off. Luck doesn't often smile on you but it did this time. I’m very, very happy."

The last gladiator standing

The 180km race started with a long ride south, some tough climbs in the Roman hills, including the steep Campi di Annibale climb, and then a fast run in to the finish near the Coliseum.

Kadri was part of the five-rider break that got away after 53km of fast racing. Also in there were Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural), Christophe Premont (Crelan-Euphony), Pim Lightart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Albert Timmer (Argos-Shimano) and they worked well together, opening a lead of up to eight-minutes.

The climbs took their toll on the break, with Movistar doing much of the work to perhaps set up Alejandro Valverde. However Kadri seized the initiative on the Campi di Annibale climb and powered on alone after dropping Cardoso and the others.

It seemed like an audacious move, with 40km still to race but the Frenchman never gave up and looked strong. A chase group of five riders emerged on the steep slopes of Campi di Annibale, including Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). However Kadri was a minute clear and managed to hold the gap all the way to the outskirts of Rome.

Pozzato and other sprinters got back onto the main peloton and then eventually caught the other four with a kilometre to go but Kadri was out of reach and able to celebrate on the paved road of the Fori Imperiali. He was the last gladiator standing after a breakaway of 127km.

"I knew I had to believe I had a chance and just gave it 100 per cent. I said if I blow or not, tant pis! The fast roads to the finish helped me but I was surprised to make it to the finish," he said, overjoyed to have won a big race.

With no race radio allowed at Roma Maxima, Pozzato and most of the chasers did not know that Kadri was still away in the finale. The Italian charged down he cobbled finishing straight and thought he'd won. He was wrong. Kadri had been stronger and was awarded the olive wreath crown as the new emperor of Roma Maxima.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4:26:27
2Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:37
3Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
4Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
5Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
6Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia
7Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
8Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
9Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
10Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha
11Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
12Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
13Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
14Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural
15Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
16Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
17Francois Parisien (Can) Team Argos-Shimano
18Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
19Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
20Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
21Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Katusha
22Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
23Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja Rural
24Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli
25Francesco Reda (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
26Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling
27Christophe Premont (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
28Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
29Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team
30Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
31Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
32Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
33Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
34Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida
35Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia
36Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
37Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
38Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja Rural
39Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:46
40Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:48
41Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha0:01:30
42Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:02:07
43Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:12
44Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
45Francesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural
46Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
47Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
48Oscar Gatto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
49Francisco Javier Moreno Allue (Spa) Caja Rural
50Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
51Gilles Devillers (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
52Rémi Cusin (Fra) IAM Cycling
53Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team
54Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
55Dalivier Ospina Navarro (Col) Colombia
56Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling
57Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team
58Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha
59Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Col) Colombia
60Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
61Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling
62Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha
63Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
64Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia
65Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano
66Juraj Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
67Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
68Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
69Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) Cannondale Pro Cycling
70Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
71Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
72Patrick Schelling (Swi) IAM Cycling
73Sylvain Georges (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
74Francesco Failli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
75Stefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
76Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
77Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
78Fabio Taborre (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
79Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
80Alessandro Proni (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
81Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Caja Rural
82Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM Cycling
83John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
84Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia
85Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
86Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
87Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
88Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
89Daniel Petrov (Bul) Caja Rural0:04:51
90Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:06:37
91Fabio Duarte (Col) Colombia
92Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha
93Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda) IAM Cycling
94Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing Team
95Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano
96Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
97Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling
98Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
99Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC Racing Team0:09:50
100Klaas Sys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
101Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Col) Colombia
102Joeri Bueken (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
103Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
104Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale Pro Cycling
105Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
106Stijn Steels (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
107Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano
108Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
109Reinier Honig (Ned) Crelan-Euphony
110Massimo Graziato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
111Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team
112Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
113Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
114Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
115Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja Rural
116Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Argos-Shimano
117Donato De Ieso (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox

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