Visconti beats Bernal to win Giro della Toscana


Giovanni Visconti (opens in new tab) (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM) won the Giro della Toscana (opens in new tab), triumphing from a four-man group which had broken away from the peloton on the final climb of the day 25km from the line.

The Italian outsprinted Tour de France champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) in the closing metres, while Sergey Cherkasov (Gazprom-RusVelo) took third in Pontedera.

Bernal had kicked off the move, attacking near the top of the third ascent of Monte Serra, over looking Pisa, just as teammate Diego Rosa was about to be caught by the peloton. Cherkasov went with the Colombian, and the duo were joined at the top by Visconti and Pierpaolo Ficara (Italy National Team).

With a disrupted chase and the lead quartet working well together, the attackers gained time on the run to the finish, with the 20-second time gap ballooning out to over a minute on the flat roads to Pontedera.

As the quartet hit the final kilometres more than a minute up on the chasers, there was ample space to play games, but aside from an acceleration by Cherkasov, which saw Ficara dispatched with a kilometre to go, they were content to wait for the sprint.

In the fight for the line, Bernal launched his sprint first, with Cherkasov unable to put in another big effort. Visconti was, on paper, the quickest sprinter, and so it proved, taking his third victory of 2019. He came off Bernal's wheel at the right moment and quickly got a gap. As Bernal eased up, Visconti pointed to his head as if to say he had still the tactical nouse to win and then began to celebrate his win on local roads. His victory could  help him secure a place in the Italian team for the World Championships.    

"I'm getting old, but I deserve respect for what I can still do," said Visconti, who had finished fourth, second and third at the race in the last three years. "Bernal was impressive today. He’s not at his best but he was able to drop us on the climb.

"But I rode smart and was able to get back on and win. This is a special moment. Neri Sottoli is a small but we're a great team and I have to thank everyone. After all their support I had to win." 

How it unfolded

The 91st edition of the Giro della Toscana - the first part of a Tuscan double-header with Thursday's Coppa Sabatini, once again welcomed a strong start list.

The Team Ineos duo of Egan Bernal and Iván Sosa were the headliners, along with 2017 winner Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Giro d'Italia stage winners Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Giulio Ciccone (Italy National Team), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and Davide Formolo (Italy National Team). The race offered important for the season-long Ciclismo Cup series.

The 204.4km race would see three ascents of Monte Serra, an 8.4km, 7.1 per cent climb located between Pontedera and Pisa and often used by Tuscan riders to measure their form. With the final summit of the climb coming inside the final 30km of the race, it would once again prove decisive in shaking up the race.

A break was established by the 20km mark, with Simon Pellaud (IAM Excelsior), Filippo Zana (Sangemini-Trevigiani-MG.Kvis), Zhandos Bizhigitov (Astana), Edoardo Zardini (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM) and Alexis Guerin (Delko Marseille Provence) getting away from the peloton early on.

Gazprom-RusVelo and Team Ineos led the peloton, which lay four minutes down on the break as the riders hit the first ascent of Monte Serra after 55km of racing. Bizhigitov was first over the top, while the Italian National Team took over the pace-making further back.

Bizhigitov once again led over the top of Monte Serra, giving him six points and the win in the mountain classification while Guerin and Zardini had four and two points apiece.

Pellaud put in an attack on the descent, but was quickly caught by his breakaway companions, while Neri Sottoli's work in the peloton split the group up and reduced the break's advantage to 2:30. The peloton regrouped on the descent, but with Team Ineos and the Italian National Team taking over the work to bring the gap down to 1:10 as the break hit the final climb of the day. Bizhigitov and Pellaud struck out on the lower slopes with 35km left to race.

The duo lay just 50 seconds up the road when the attacks started in the peloton. Diego Rosa (Team Ineos) put in the strongest move, separating himself from the rest to chase down Pellaud, the last man standing from the break. Rosa made it across to the Swiss three kilometres from the top of the climb as Neri Sottoli led the chase 30 seconds back. The Italian didn't hang around for long though, pushing on alone as he neared the summit, while back in the peloton Formolo struggled, stuck in the big ring. 

Near the top of the climb, and with Rosa almost caught, it was time for Bernal to go. The Colombian's acceleration split the reduced peloton even further, and only Cherkasov was strong enough to follow his move. As the pair crested the final summit of Monte Serra, they were joined by Visconti and Ficara, making it four out front with 25km to go.

Bernal led the quartet down the technical descent, which saw Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) and Andrea Garosio (Bahrain-Merida) crash out of the chase. The lead group, who made it safely down to the valley, held a 30-second lead over the ten-man chase group at the bottom.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the attackers only gained time on the flat roads to the finish in Pontedera. This was partially thanks to the presence of Bernal's teammates Rosa and Eddie Dunbar, plus two of Visconti's teammates, which meant the chase was easily disrupted and eventually ran out of steam.

Five kilometres from the finish, it was clear that the leaders would contest the win, racing to the line a minute up on the chasers. They held off on the attacks until the final kilometre, with Cherkasov upping the pace first and shaking off Ficara.

All that was left to contest was the inevitable sprint finish. Bernal tried his best, launching first, but Visconti would not be denied his win, and came around to seal Neri Sottoli's eighth win of the year.

Full Results

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM 5:09:35
2Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
3Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
4Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Italy 0:00:13
5Davide Gabburo (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM 0:00:51
6Edward Dunbar (Irl) Team Ineos 0:00:53
7Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:00:58
8Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana Pro Team
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
10Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
11Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
12Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
13Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
14Alejandro Osorio Carvajal (Col) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
15Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
16Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
17Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
18Jon Irisarri Ricon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
19Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
20Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF
21Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
22Anthony Rappo (Swi) IAM Excelsior
23Davide Formolo (Ita) Italy
24Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Ineos
25Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
26Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
27Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
28Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
29Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:06
30Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:03:22
31Riccardo Ciuccarelli (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
32Umberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
33Gabriele Benedetti (Ita) Italy
34Simon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Excelsior
35Gianni Pugi (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
36Bart De Clercq (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
37Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Cycling Academy
38Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) IAM Excelsior
39Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
40Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Italy
41Brice Feillu (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
42Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
43Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
44Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
45Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM 0:06:53
46Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
47Joel Suter (Swi) Switzerland
48Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
49Antonio Di Sante (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis 0:07:57
50Dario Puccioni (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
51Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
52Alexandre Balmer (Swi) Switzerland
53Ivan Martinelli (Ita) D'Amico Um Tools
54Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:10:14
55Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
56Mauricio Moreira (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
57Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
58Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
59Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
60Edwin Avila (Col) Israel Cycling Academy
61Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
62Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy
63Aleksei Rybalkin (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo 0:10:34
64Franco Orocito (Arg) D'Amico Um Tools
DNF Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Ineos
DNF Filippo Ganna (Ita) Team Ineos
DNF Ivan Sosa (Col) Team Ineos
DNF Jonnathan Narvaez (Ecu) Team Ineos
DNF Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNF Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNF Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
DNF Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Nicolas Dalla Valle (Ita) Tirol KTM Cycling Team
DNF Davide Masi (Ita) Italy
DNF Stefano Oldani (Ita) Kometa Cycling Team
DNF Enrico Salvador (Ita) Italy
DNF Michael Albasini (Swi) Switzerland
DNF Stefan Bissegger (Swi) Switzerland
DNF Damian Lüscher (Swi) Switzerland
DNF Johan Jacobs (Swi) Switzerland
DNF Reto Müller (Swi) Swiss Racing Academy
DNF Matteo Busato (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
DNF Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNF Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNF Francesco Romano (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNF Daniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNF Ruben Dario Acosta Ospina (Col) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
DNF Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
DNF Joan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
DNF Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
DNF Roberto González (Pan) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
DNF Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
DNF Aurélien Doleatto (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNF Maxime Jarnet (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNF Jérémy Maison (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
DNF Florian Vachon (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
DNF Nelson Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Eusebio Pascual Bonhome (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNF Iuri Filosi (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNF Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNF Alexis Guerin (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNF Evgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
DNF Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
DNF Stepan Kuriyanov (Rus) Gazprom–Rusvelo
DNF Freddy Ovett (Aus) Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNF Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Roy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNF Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
DNF Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
DNF Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Gobert
DNF Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
DNF Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Darwin Atapuma (Col) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Marco Mathis (Ger) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis Solutions Credits
DNF Fabian Lienhard (Swi) IAM Excelsior
DNF Martin Schäppi (Swi) IAM Excelsior
DNF Scott Quincey (Swi) IAM Excelsior
DNF Corey Davis (USA) Team Ineosline
DNF Leonardo Bonifazio (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
DNF Niccolo' Salvietti (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
DNF Filippo Zana (Ita) Sangemini-Trevigiani-Mg.K Vis
DNF Federico Burchio (Ita) D'Amico Um Tools
DNF Roman Kustadinchev (Rus) D'Amico Um Tools
DNF Valter Ghigino (Ita) D'Amico Um Tools
DNF Orlando Pitzanti (Ita) D'Amico Um Tools
DNF Yamil Gabriel Tapia (Arg) D'Amico Um Tools

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