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European Championships: Men's road race - Live coverage


Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the elite men's European Championship. 

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are sihning on in Trento. 

The 172.9km elite men’s road race also covers eight laps but after an opening loop through the Valle dei Laghi and the climb of the iconic Monte Bondone that overlooks Trento. 

The 150 riders are now rolling out of the centre of Trento and riding towards the official start, 3km out of town. 

Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands out the elite men’s start list but his Slovenian teammate Matej Mohoric showed his form at the recent Benelux Tour and could emerge as team leader.  

Peter Sagan could be a threat and his three world titles and 2016 European title confirm he knows how to win circuit races. Evenepoel has been selected for the Belgian team for the World Championships and will be looking to prove a point in both the time trial and road race. 

The riders are packed tight behind the race directors car and the motorbikes.

The race director waves the flag and so they're off! 

As the riders start the loop out of Trento towards the lakes and the climb of Monte Bondone, we have the first attacks. 

Spain is trying to spark an early breakaway.

The pace is high. 

The riders are on a rolling valley road. The pace is high as different riders try to drag a break clear.

Lots of nations seem keen to place riders in the early break.  

170km to go

The pace is high and riders are riders are being dropped. They include Ireland's Sam Bennett, who is racing for the first time since before the injury that forced him to miss the Tour de France.

Two French riders are in a four-rider move. 

The riders are near Terlago, where many of the best grappa producers are based. Grappa is the local distilled alcoholic drink made from the grapes squeezed to make wine.

The four have a 20-second gap.  

The peloton has slowed and seems to have let the break go clear. 

As the pace eases, Bennett and others get back on.

The break has extended its lead to 1:00. 

It will be up to the Italian, Ditch, German and other nations to lead the chase.

Italy and Slovenia are leading the chase, as the gap touches 1:30. 

The race is on the plain near Terlago lake but will return to the early climbs.

The chase has reduced the gap to the four to just 50 seconds. 

150km to go

The race is on a more rocky, barren section as the road climbs upwards. 

The road will soon turn left and begin to climb the lower slopes of Monte Bondone.

The road will climb to Vigo Cavadine for 5km and so we expect attacks from nations looking to distance some of the sprinters.

The sprint teams like Italy will ride steady and control the race.  

There are more attacks, with Thibaut Pinot also on the move for France. 

Pinot makes it across to the break, giving France three riders up front. 

Spain has 5 riders chasing the Pinot attack. 

Italy are now on the front but they will have to close a 30-second gap. 

Andrea Bagioli surges across the gap to give Italy a rider in the attack.  

Other riders are coming across to the Pinot group as the road rises and rides take bidons from the roadside.  

Belgium do not seem happy with the situation and so are riding on the front of the peloton. 

Interestingly, Evenepoel is on his wheel, protected but well up front. 

Pinot, Bonnamour, Paret-Peintre and Vanhoucke have been joined by Rapp, Izagirre, Bagioli, Rapp, Grossschartner, Reichenbach, Landa, Soto and De La Cruz. 

This sums up the racing so far. It's been non-stop and tactical.

Italy eased up the pace, allowing the gap to rise to 1:00 but now there are more attacks from Germany and Portugal, who missed the attack. 

The roads descends for a little longer but then the 14km Monte Bondone climb will begin.

Philippe Gilbert and Gianni Vermeersch are in a group behind the peloton. Gilbert dropped his chain as the race exploded. 

There are only 80 or so riders in the peloton. That indicates how aggressive the racing has been on the valley loop. 

Franck Bonnamour is giving his all on the front of the 12-rider break to push out their lead. 

125km to go

The peloton is chasing at speed, with Portugal setting the pace.  

The gap is down to 40 seconds.

Switzerland are also helping with the chase.

The next 5.4km are climbing on the slopes of Monte Bondone. 

Gino Mader is one of the first riders to be distances as the climb begins to hurt.

However Tadej Pogacar is up front and well placed with the Italian riders and on the wheels of Portugal.

The break is also falling apart, with Landa dropped. 

Peter Sagan is also at the back with 3.5km to climb. 

The speed has been high as the peloton chased the attack. The gap is only 25 seconds now.

The French are continuing to attack.

Romain Bardet attacks. Remco Evenepoel goes after him! 

Now Warren Barguil goes on the attack as the Monte Bondone climb begins. 

The descent is fast and twisting.

The break leads by just 15 on the fast descent. 

110km to go

Riders who were dropped on the climb are using the descent to get back on. They include Ganna of Italy.

Sam Bennett is off the back but is racing today. However he distanced himself from Lefevere’s wrath by refusing to comment on the Deceuninck-QuickStep manager's criticism. 

As the rider enter Trento, there are 20 riders up front in the Pinot break after others crossed on the fast descent. 

Italy has 4 riders in the front, including Colbrelli. 

100km to go

Pogacar is in the chase peloton at 15 seconds but the race is likely to come back together.

100km to go

Ganna takes a musette and bidons for Italy as other riders eat and drink on the descent. 

Up front Belgium and Portugal continue to keep the pace high. Both want a hard race to crack the sprinters late on. 

We have a new attack, sparked by Portugal's Nelson Oliveira. 

Alexander Kristoff is close to the back of the peloton but Ganna has taken up the chase of the attack for Italy.