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Giro dell'Emilia 2018

Hello there. The Italian autumn classics are so underrated, aren't they? 

 

Maybe it's the beautiful scenery, maybe it's the style of racing, maybe it's that end-of-season sense of abandon. Maybe it's even the prospect of those barren winter months - with nothing but Jingle Cross to sustain you - that make you appreciate them all the more. Either way, it's good stuff, and it starts here with the Giro del'Emilia. 

80km remaining from 207km

As we pick up the action in the final 80km of racing, we have a breakaway of eight riders with a lead of seven minutes. Those escapees are:

 

Alberto Bettiol (BMC)

Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates),

Robert Power (Michelton-Scott)

Scott Davies (Dimension Data)

Niklas Eg (Trek-Segafredo)

Umberto Orsini (Bardiani-CSF)

Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini)

Viesturs Luksevics (Amore & Vita)

 

We've done a full preview for these late-season classics, ending with Il Lombardia next Saturday. You can read that here:

 

From Giro dell'Emilia to Il Lombardia: The final act of the European road season

 

Here's the race profile

 

 

With just under 50km left to race, we've dealt with the early climbs of Mongardino, Passo Brasimone and Valico Ganzole and we're now heading back into Bologna for the all-important finishing circuit. It's 9.3km long and is centred on the short but steep climb to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca. The riders will do it five times.

 

Before things really heat up, let's have a look at the potential winners. 

 

Giovanni Visconti was the victor last year in a Bahrain-Merida one-two with Vincenzo Nibali. Both are here again, along with Matej Mohoric and Domenico Pozzovivo. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) has been in flying form recently and is one of the big favourites. Sky also have Egan Bernal here. EF-Drapac have Worlds bronze medallist Michael Woods and Rigoberto Uran, while Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Enrico Battaglin, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Mikel Landa (Movistar), and Miguel Angel Lopez all figure. 

 

It's a hell of a start list. 

 

 

40km remaining from 207km

The gap to the break is down to two minutes.

 

The breakaway riders hit the San Luca climb and the gradients are punishing. 

 

Interesting to see Ben Swift in the break. Things haven't worked out for him at UAE so far and he's still searching for a contract for next season.

 

FDJ are in control of the peloton as they begin the climb. 

 

The break has split on the climb and the peloton is close at hand. Or what's left of it.

 

Mohoric has attacked beyond the finish line. The road dips down and then back up again before the descent proper begins. And boy can Mohoric descend.

 

Mohoric has swept past some of the remnants of the break but only has a handful of seconds over the main field. 

 

It's just Power, Davies, Orsini, and Bagioli left out front. 

 

Orsini has lost contact as the climb starts for a second time. 

 

29km remaining from 207km

Mohoric is caught

 

 

A small group has clipped off the front of the main field towards the top of the climb.

 

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) has attacked and is making his way over to the three remaining breakaway riders.

 

Diego Rosa (Team Sky) and a rider from EF were also on the attack. So was Mohoric - again - and he has now dropped them and is also tracking down the break.

 

De Marchi joins the break, and now Mohoric makes it across too.

 

Rosa is battling to get across. 

 

It's Danny Martinez from EF, with Alexandre Geniez from AG2R, and they join Rosa now. 

 

Alexandr Riabushenko (UAE) has regained contact with that group now.

23km remaining from 207km

So, up front we have:

 

De Marchi

Mohoric

Power

Davies

Bagioli

 

Chasing behind we have:

 

Rosa

Geniez

Martinez

Riabushenko

 

Mohoric has dropped everyone on the descent and is leading the race.

 

The peloton is vastly reduced as they come back around for another lap.

 

As the road kicks back uphill, De Marchi catches Mohoric and passes him. 

 

Mohoric is weaving on the climb, trying to take the bite out of the gradient. He can descent better than anyone but this race finishes at the top of the climb, so it's hard to see him winning. Bahrain, remember, have decent options behind.

 

De Marchi crosses the finish line in the lead of the race. He does so with a lead of 27 seconds.

 

Roglic attacks from the peloton.

 

Roglic's attack shatters the peloton but riders come across and it calms down once more.

 

Mattia Cattaneo has attacked for Androni.

 

16km remaining from 207km

On the secondary incline Geniez has dropped the rest of the chase group and is now alone chasing De Marchi.

 

The rain is still coming down and the descent is treacherous. There's one nasty hairpin and De Marchi and Geniez in turn both have to slaw to crawling pace.

 

De Marchi is in a good position but a lot can change on that climb, especially when the big favourites open up.

 

Mohoric advances once more on the descent. He catches a tentative Geniez who misjudges a corner and has to swing a leg out. 

 

11km remaining from 207km

Trek-Segafredo are leading the chase in the peloton as they come back into town. 

 

Again, as the road heads uphill Mohoric suffers and is dropped by Geniez. 

 

The peloton are close at hand and we should see some action on this next ascent.

 

10km remaining from 207km

De Marchi hits the steep section and springs out of the saddle. He's in a low gear and travelling slowly. It's a brute of a section. Geniez hits it now and is almost hauling himself up it.

 

De Marchi has 28 seconds on Geniez. The peloton are a few seconds further back.

 

Mohoric is caught by the peloton towards the top of the climb.

 

De Marchi takes the bell as he crosses the finish line for the penultimate climb. 

 

Geniez is caught now so the main field is back together - if reduced - in pursuit of the lone leader De Marchi.

 

De Marchi leads by 44 seconds. This could be tight.

9km remaining from 207km

The road ducks downhill and then kicks up again before the descent, where De Marchi shouldn't lose too much time. The race will be won and lost in the final two kilometres on the fifth ascent of the devilish San Luca climb.

 

Such are the weather conditions, television coverage has gone down. 

 

4km remaining from 207km

De Marchi is still upright despite the treacherous conditions. He's giving it everything on the flatter part of this descent. 

 

There have been some attacks from the bunch. Trek have sent a rider off.

 

It's Brambilla. Oh, and Mohoric is there with him. Obviously. 

 

2km remaining from 207km

De Marchi comes back into town and begins the climb for the last time!

 

Puncture for Brambilla. Game over.

 

Mohoric is alone in pursuit now but on the evidence of the previous climbs he won't be catching De Marchi.

 

Who's going to hit out from the main field?

 

De Marchi still has a sizeable lead and it looks like he could be on his way to victory here.

 

Still no big attacks from the main group.

 

1km remaining from 207km

De Marchi has a lead of 30 seconds.

Bernal is leading the main group now. Nibali, Woods, Pinot and Roglic are all up there but no one is making a big play. 

 

De Marchi's lead is increasing. He has 36 seconds.

 

Bernal flicks the elbow but no one comes through. 

 

Woods attacks!

 

Nibali follows.

 

Into the final kilometre and they can see De Marchi now.

 

Pozzovivo accelerates now.

 

The gap is dropping but De Marchi is over the hardest part of the climb. 

 

De Marchi is churning a big gear and is surely tiring now.

 

Woods goes again but he's marked by a BMC rider and looks over his shoulder.

 

They're all looking at each other behind.

 

And now Woods' teammate Uran attacks.

 

Uran takes off from a group of seven that has formed. No one follows for now.

 

Pozzovivo now goes after Uran.

 

But De Marchi is into the home straight and is going to take this.

 

De Marchi crosses his chest and punches the air as he crosses the line. 

 

Uran takes second place, 10 seconds down. 

 

"I had to go it alone," says De Marchi. "It was the only way I could win today, and thankfully it paid off."

No big spectacle among the pre-race favourites, but hats off to De Marchi for a smart and well-executed victory. 

 

Top 5

 

1 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

 

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