Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) repeated his victory at the Gran Piemonte race with a text-book solo attack in the final kilometre that took his rivals by surprise. Italy's Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni Giocattoli) finished second and Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) was third. Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) was fourth but again missed out on victory.
Gilbert won the Italian race in 2009 before going on to dominate the Tour of Lombardy and must now be favourite for Saturday's final classic of the season.
“I felt good and was able to finish off the work of the team,” Gilberto told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“With 700 metres to go I felt more or less like I did at the world championships but you can’t always win even when your form is great.”
Asked about about his chance of further success in Saturday's Tour of Lombardy, Gilbert admitted he was slightly worried about the new course. But has already picked his big rivals.
I’ll go and look at the new part of the course tomorrow but I’m most worried about the descent after the Colma di Sormano,” he said.
“My rivals? Evans, Kolobnev, above all, then Nibali and Visconti.”
The break takes the wrong road
Despite many of the riders in the peloton already thinking about their end of season holidays, the Gran Piemonte got off to a rapid start, with the first hour covered at a leg-burning average speed of 51.60km/h.
An early break was chased down by the Katusha team, but then six riders went away after 56km, and the peloton let them go.
Luca Solari (Androni Giocattoli) Oscar Puyol (Cervelo TestTeam), Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Sonny Colbrelli (Colnago-CSF Inox), Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli) and Elia Favilli (ISD-Neri) quickly opened an eight-minute lead as the peloton enjoyed the views across the vineyards and rolling hills of north Piemonte.
Former world champion Cadel Evans (BMC) and several other riders climbed off at the first feed zone after 100km but after lunch the peloton began the serious chase of the sextet.
However the break lost all of its advantage and was even overtaken by the peloton after taking the wrong road following a descent with approximately 30km to go. The riders apparently kept racing for several minutes before they and the organisers realised they had gone off course.
Seven other riders then went on the attack on the La Morra climb, just after the race came back together, but they were pulled back before the 18km finishing circuit around Cossato.
Alexandr Dyachenko (Astana) and Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) tried to go clear but the Omega Pharma-Lotto team kept them in check, preparing the ground for Gilbert to make his late move.
The classy Belgian jumped away with one kilometre to go as the two were pulled back. He crossed the line alone with his arms in the air, reminding everyone that he will be the big favourite to pull off a similar move on Saturday at the Tour of Lombardy.
|1||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto||4:28:03|
|2||Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Diquigiovanni||0:00:02|
|3||Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank|
|4||Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha||0:00:04|
|5||Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep|
|6||Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
|8||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank|
|9||Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne|
|10||Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre - Farnese Vini|
|11||Samuel Dumoulin (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|12||Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana|
|13||Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank|
|14||Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team|
|15||Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Farnese Vini|
|16||Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Diquigiovanni|
|17||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha|
|18||Francesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep|
|19||Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana|
|20||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia|
|21||Alessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone d'Angelo Antenuc|
|22||Christian Meier (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|23||Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas - Doimo|
|24||Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|25||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|26||David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|27||Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|28||Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team||0:00:13|
|29||Andrea Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone d'Angelo Antenuc|
|30||Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|31||Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|32||Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha|
|33||Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions|
|34||Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana|
|35||Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col) Caisse d'Epargne|
|36||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Farnese Vini||0:00:18|
|37||Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto||0:00:26|
|38||Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|39||Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions||0:00:43|
|40||Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions|
|41||Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Lampre - Farnese Vini|
|42||Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
|43||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto|
|44||Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD - Neri||0:00:49|
|45||Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto||0:00:52|
|46||Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha|
|47||Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana||0:00:56|
|48||Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana|
|49||Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD - Neri||0:01:02|
|50||Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Diquigiovanni||0:01:17|
|51||Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervelo Test Team|
|52||Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
|53||Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo||0:01:28|
|54||Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas - Doimo|
|55||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|56||Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quickstep||0:01:41|
|57||Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank||0:01:47|
|58||André Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank||0:03:14|
|59||Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|60||Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne|
|61||Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|62||Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep|
|63||Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto||0:03:22|
|64||Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quickstep|
|65||Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quickstep|
|66||Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank|
|67||Damiano Margutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Diquigiovanni||0:06:21|
|68||Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma - Lotto||0:06:49|
|69||Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo||0:08:50|
|70||Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|71||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo|
|72||Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) ISD - Neri|
|73||Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|74||Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Astana|
|75||Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo|
|76||Serge Pauwels (Ned) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|77||Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team|
|78||Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|79||Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri) Cervelo Test Team|
|80||Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Acqua & Sapone d'Angelo Antenuc|
|81||Kjell Carlström (Fin) Sky Professional Cycling Team|
|82||Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - Farnese Vini|
|83||David Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|84||Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank|
|85||Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team|
|86||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha|
|87||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana|
|88||Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne|
|89||Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
|90||Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone d'Angelo Antenuc||0:08:58|
|91||Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone d'Angelo Antenuc|
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.
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