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Visconti wins his third tricolore

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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Giovanni Visconti is congratulated by a teammate

Giovanni Visconti is congratulated by a teammate
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Paolo Bettini has nothing but love for Visconti

Paolo Bettini has nothing but love for Visconti
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Celebration all around for Visconti's third title

Celebration all around for Visconti's third title
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Visconti celebrates with his Sicilian fans

Visconti celebrates with his Sicilian fans
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Daniele Colli (Geox-TMC)

Daniele Colli (Geox-TMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nibali marks Cunego mid-race

Nibali marks Cunego mid-race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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They're off!

They're off!
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The riders faced hot conditions in Sicily

The riders faced hot conditions in Sicily
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The BMC riders await the start

The BMC riders await the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali in action

Vincenzo Nibali in action
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Italian peloton

The Italian peloton
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Another Sicilian native: Vincenzo Nibali

Another Sicilian native: Vincenzo Nibali
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti gets ready to start the sprint

Visconti gets ready to start the sprint
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti wears an Italian flag and a big smile

Visconti wears an Italian flag and a big smile
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Time to celebrate

Time to celebrate
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale)

Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The start in Aci Catena

The start in Aci Catena
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) heads to the start

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) heads to the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC)

Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Daniele Calligarin (Team Type 1)

Daniele Calligarin (Team Type 1)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF)

Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti gets ready for the start

Visconti gets ready for the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline (Geox-TMC)

Fabio Felline (Geox-TMC)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti savours the moment during the Italian national anthem

Visconti savours the moment during the Italian national anthem
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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The podium

The podium
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Visconti dominated the sprint

Visconti dominated the sprint
(Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)
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Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) wins the 2011 Italian national road race title

Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) wins the 2011 Italian national road race title
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti puts his arms in the air

Visconti puts his arms in the air
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Three - Visconti counts his tricolore

Three - Visconti counts his tricolore
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti points to the 2011 winner

Visconti points to the 2011 winner
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Visconti got a huge cheer from his native Sicily as he crossed the line

Visconti got a huge cheer from his native Sicily as he crossed the line
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The podiu: Santambrogio, Visconti, Ponzi

The podiu: Santambrogio, Visconti, Ponzi
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2011 Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti

2011 Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) has won his third Italian national road race title after a hard fought race in his native Sicily.

Visconti forced the decisive split in the final 20km, controlled several strong attacks and then won the sprint to the line, beating Mauro Santambrogio (BMC) and Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Visconti won the Italian in 2007 and again last year. This third victory was even more special because it came in his home region of Sicily.

“I can’t believe I’ve won at home and that I’ve kept hold of the jersey I love so much,” an emotional Visconti said immediately after his victory.

“At the start I was doubtful I’d win again because of the heat and the course but my teammates helped me. This win pays me back for all the disappointments of the last few months. It’s my third jersey and so it’s a good season. If I hadn’t been relegated in the sprint at the Giro d’Italia it would have been even better but now I’ve put all of that behind me.”

Surprisingly only 93 riders started the road race, with the likes of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) and Davide Rebellin (Miche) blocked from competing by the new Italian Cycling Federation ruling baring riders who have tested positive and been banned from competition for at least six months.

The race was delayed due to traffic problems and reduced by one lap after it was rumoured tacks had also been thrown on the roads. The final race distance was reduced to 209km.

The race was decided on the final lap when Visconti attacked with Alessandro Ballan, Santambrogio, and Ivan Santaromita (BMC), Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha), Ponzi, Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox), Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago CSF), Paolo Bailetti (De Rosa Flaminia) and Fortunato Baliani (D'Angelo & Antenucci-Nippo).

The BMC trio tried to distance Visconti before the sprint but the attacks were neutralised and Visconti used his superior speed to win his third tricolore jersey.

Despite a dozen top three placing this season, it was only Visconti third win after GP Insubra and the last stage of the Settimana Coppi & Bartali.

Full Results
1Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli)5:34:46
2Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing Team)
3Simone Ponzi (Liquigas-Cannondale)
4Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha Team)
5Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago - CSF Inox)
6Paolo Bailetti (De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia)
7Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing Team)0:00:13
8Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team)0:00:32
9Fortunato Baliani (d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo)0:02:36
10Luca Paolini (Katusha Team)0:03:22
11Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)0:03:55
12Francesco Bellotti (Liquigas-Cannondale)
13Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank Sungard)
14Mauro Finetto (Liquigas-Cannondale)0:04:02
15Luca Mazzanti (Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli)
16Cesare Benedetti (Team Netapp)0:06:15
17Davide Torosantucci (d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo)0:07:16
18Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale)
19Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale)
20Andrea Pasqualon (Colnago - CSF Inox)
21Diego Ulissi (Lampre - ISD)
22Alessandro Bertolini (Androni Giocattoli)
23Marco Bandiera (Quickstep Cycling Team)0:12:00

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