Santaromita wins Italian national road race title

Ivan Santaromita (BMC) won the Italian road race title after he out-lasted Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) and Davide Rebellin (CCC-Polsat) on the demanding uphill finish at Fondo.

 The trio were part of a five-man move that went clear on the final lap and as the road began to climb up towards the finish with five kilometres to go, it was apparent that they would decide the destination of the tricolour jersey between them.

Scarponi made no fewer than four attempts to forge clear of his companions, but on each occasion Rebellin inched his way back up to his wheel, bringing Santaromita with him. After Scarponi’s final attempt fizzled out inside the final kilometre, Santaromita kicked for home with 500 metres to go.

The canny Santaromita timed his move to perfection. Rebellin tried once more to follow but was unable to hold on, while Scarponi was caught flat-footed. Although he came around Rebellin to claim second place, he was never able to get back on terms with Santaromita, who claimed only the second road race victory of his career after winning a stage of the Giro del Trentino – also ahead of Scarponi – in April.

For the second time in its history – the previous occasion being Massimo Podenzana’s win in 1994 – the Italian championships were combined with the Trofeo Melinda, making for a particularly exacting course that many expected to favour local rider Moreno Moser.

Moser’s Cannondale team duly put a lot of energy into controlling the race in the opening stages after the gruppo left the start in Malè, and led the pursuit of early escapees Omar Bertazzo (Androni-Venezuela), Stefano Borchi (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Filippo Fortin (Bardiani-CSF Inox).

By the time the peloton reached the finishing circuit, which saw them tackle the climb to Fondo on five occasions, Alessandro Proni (Vini Fantini) had caught and passed the three leaders, but with Lampre-Merida now combining their weight of numbers with Cannondale, his move was destined to be snuffed out.

Stefano Pirazzai (Bardiani-CSF) attempted to slip away on the penultimate ascent to Fondo, and while he was quickly shut down, the winning move drifted clear shortly afterwards under the impetus of Rebellin, who brought Scarponi, Santaromita, Simone Stortoni (Lampre-Merida) and Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) with him.

The quintet soon built up a 30-second lead, even though De Marchi was instructed not to collaborate given that his Cannondale teammates were leading the chase behind. By that point, the main peloton was reduced to just 25 riders, including Moser, but the efforts of Stortoni and Scarponi in particular meant that they were going to have their work cut out to bring back the leaders as the kilometres ticked down.

When Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) joined a small-lived chase group with Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r) and Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini), it became apparent that Moser was less confident of his chances and soon afterwards, De Marchi was given instructions to start working with the rest of the break.

The hard-working Stortoni led the leaders onto the finishing climb and then swung over with four kilometres to go after a diligent stint of pace-making in the service of Scarponi. As the road began to pitch upwards, Scarponi put in the first of his digs, which saw off De Marchi, but not Rebellin and Santaromita, who continued to match his accelerations.

Neither Scarponi nor the 41-year-old Rebellin were eligible to race in the Italian championships two years ago due to a since-rescinded federation bylaw which barred riders with past doping suspensions from taking part, but the veteran pair seemed filled with motivation on a warm afternoon in Trentino.

In the end, however, it was Santaromita who emerged victorious, after cleverly managing his two companions’ efforts on the final climb before waiting for the perfect moment to unleash his fierce winning acceleration.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team6:14:48
2Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat PolkowiceRow 2 - Cell 2
4Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:20
5Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale0:00:26
6Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia0:00:30
7Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:39
8Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:42
9Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:48
10Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:51
11Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:57
12Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:01:05
13Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team EuropcarRow 12 - Cell 2
14Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:02:36
15Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Federico Rocchetti (Ita) Itensilnord Ora24.eu0:02:54
18Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle ItaliaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:03:21
20Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 19 - Cell 2
21Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 20 - Cell 2
22Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 22 - Cell 2
24Ylven Sthefano Agostini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 24 - Cell 2
26Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) KatushaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 26 - Cell 2
28Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Team Nippo-De RosaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Matteo Di Serafino (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:04:48
31Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Patrick Facchini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:07:12
33Donato De Ieso (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:07:48
34Angelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:09:08

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