Blel Kadri wins Roma Maxima

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

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

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.

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