Carlos Alberto Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) scored his second victory in a week, following his stage win in the Tour of Belgium with a cagey triumph in the Trofeo Melinda in Italy. Betancur and his team have responded in the best possible fashion to the disappointment of not being part of last month's Giro d'Italia after they were denied a wildcard invitation.
The Colombian powered to the line on the cobblestones of Fondo with a well-timed sprint ahead of Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha).
The top two are both young riders who underlined their potential still further in the region of Trentino in north-east Italy. After a challenging 198km Betancur finished strongest, denying the home fans victory. Moser, seen by many as the pre-race favourite, battled bravely but could not prevail.
Local boy Emanuele Sella (Androni-Giocattoli) lapped up the support of the home fans early on, attacking and riding solo for the best part of 40km. He was reeled in by the peloton with just 10km left to race and from then on it was a game of cat and mouse as riders attacked and were countered as the finish line drew closer. Caruso finally broke clear and it looked like a winning move but he was eventually caught by Betancur and Moser and had to settle for third place.
“Melinda’s route suits me,” a delighted Betancur said after the finish. “It is pretty similar to the profiles we find in races in my home country. I had already taken two second places at the Giro del Trentino, now this win comes just days after last Sunday’s success in Belgium.
“I could feel my team’s trust, and today I hope to have moved closer to the Olympics. In the future, I hope to play a part in grand tours.”
Caruso was philosophical in defeat and admitted that he thought his last gasp breakaway had paid off.
"I'm quite disappointed with today's result,” he said. “When I did the final attack I saw nobody could answer, so I thought I could win. Instead, Betancur managed to close the gap and pass me in the last 20 meters. It's a pity because I felt in great shape all day long: it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like this, because May is a particularly difficult month for me due to my pollen allergy.
"A victory could have given us great motivations and morale for our next goals and competition, approaching a very important event like the Tour de France. So it's a pity, but I try to see the sunny side of this podium: our shape is very good, so next time we'll fight for win again."
Only 29 of the 104 participants finished the race.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone||5:02:35|
|2||Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|3||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team|
|4||Davide Rebellin (Ita) Meridiana Kamen Team||0:00:03|
|5||Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli||0:00:06|
|6||Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia|
|7||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox||0:00:08|
|8||Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox|
|9||Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team||0:00:12|
|10||Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISD||0:00:20|
|11||Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISD|
|12||Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone||0:00:31|
|13||Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli||0:00:37|
|14||Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia|
|15||Jure Golcer (Slo) Tirol Cycling Team||0:00:45|
|16||Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISD||0:00:47|
|17||Alessandro Bertolini. (Ita) Androni Giocattoli||0:01:01|
|18||Vincenzo Garofolo (Ita) Team Nippo||0:01:06|
|19||Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone||0:01:14|
|20||Peter Kusztor (Hun) Atlas Personal - Jakroo||0:01:19|
|21||Paolo Bailetti (Ita) Utensilnord Named||0:01:25|
|22||Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli||0:01:44|
|23||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox||0:02:01|
|24||Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Team Idea|
|25||Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale|
|26||Henry Frusto (Ita) Team Nippo|
|27||Juan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha Team||0:02:10|
|28||Morris Possoni (Ita) Lampre - ISD||0:02:16|
|29||Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre - ISD||0:02:19|
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