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Pellizotti returns from ban to win Italian road title

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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) soloed to victory

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) soloed to victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The race started under storms, but skies held later on

The race started under storms, but skies held later on
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michele Scarponi (Lampre) went on a solo flyer but couldn't pull off the win

Michele Scarponi (Lampre) went on a solo flyer but couldn't pull off the win
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli)

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) dons his new jersey

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) dons his new jersey
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Di Luca gets past Moser in the sprint for second

Di Luca gets past Moser in the sprint for second
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Di Luca pips Moreno Moser for second place

Danilo Di Luca pips Moreno Moser for second place
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti grins after winning his first race back from a doping ban

Franco Pellizotti grins after winning his first race back from a doping ban
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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New Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli)

New Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) had ample time to celebrate his win

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) had ample time to celebrate his win
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) soloed to victory

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) soloed to victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) savors the moment

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) savors the moment
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) with the gold medal as Italian champion

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) with the gold medal as Italian champion
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti zips up

Franco Pellizotti zips up
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) is celebrated by the tifosi

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) is celebrated by the tifosi
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moser is beaten to the line by Di Luca

Moser is beaten to the line by Di Luca
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Di Luca, Franco Pellizotti and Moreno Moser on the podium at the Italian road championships

Danilo Di Luca, Franco Pellizotti and Moreno Moser on the podium at the Italian road championships
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) celebrates his victory in the Italian championships

Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) celebrates his victory in the Italian championships
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) bided his time until the race finale

Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) bided his time until the race finale
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michele Scarponi bridged up to the breakaway, went solo but was caught on the last lap

Michele Scarponi bridged up to the breakaway, went solo but was caught on the last lap
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM)

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Di Luca (Acqua e Sapone) showed he still had it, finishing second

Danilo Di Luca (Acqua e Sapone) showed he still had it, finishing second
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Defending champion Giovanni Visconti

Defending champion Giovanni Visconti
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Franco Pellizotti models his new jersey, the Italian champion's

Franco Pellizotti models his new jersey, the Italian champion's
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Franco Pellizotti scored an emphatic victory in the Italian road championships, returning from his two-year ban for irregular biological passport values to solo to his first tricolore. Danilo Di Luca was second from the chasing group.

Now riding for Androni Giocattoli, Pellizotti attacked an elite group which had bridged up to the solo move of Michele Scarponi. He left behind Liquigas-Cannondale duo Moreno Moser and Vincenzo Nibali, Scarponi and Katusha's Giampaolo Caruso en route to the win.
“Anyone who knows me will know how hard I tried in that last kilometre,” Pellizotti said. “At 400 metres to go, I knew I’d won and was able to enjoy it. I wish that it could have never ended.

“I must thank Androni for the great trust they have shown in me. After they confirmed my appointment I was able to train in the best possible way for this race.”

Scarponi had a lead of almost a minute-and-a-half with two laps of the course and 27km to go, but saw his advantage quickly eradicated as the race hurtled towards its conclusion. He was eventually swallowed up by the three podium finishers, Nibali and Caruso just ahead of the beginning of the final lap.

Pellizotti then attacked almost immediately as the riders started to climb for the final time. Caruso was the only rider who was capable of going with him and the duo formed a leading pair for a few kilometres before Pellizotti, who was easily the fresher man, turned the screw and piled on the pressure until Caruso cracked.

Caruso quickly came back to Di Luca and Moser, who eventually overtook him and took their places on the podium. Both Nibali and Scarponi, whose minds were probably several hundred miles north in Liege, where the Tour de France starts next weekend. Nibali had publicly played down his chance of winning here in the build up the race, having spent some punishing hours on the Passo San Pellegrino as part of a training camp ahead of the Tour de France.

Di Luca bettered his previous best finish at the championships (3rd place in 2009) while Moser’s performance offered up further evidence that he could be the next best thing in Italian cycling, belying his tender years at the age of 21.

This year’s renewal was a particularly brutal one, with only 20 riders finishing the race.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela6:43:12
2Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:00:27
3Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
4Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:02:11
6Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:02:13
7Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:03
8Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:03:11
9Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
10Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
11Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team
12Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia
13Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISD
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:03:13
15Davide Rebellin (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team0:03:15
16Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:03:35

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