Skip to main content

Colbrelli wins European road title

Image 1 of 28

Italian Sonny Colbrelli reacts as he crosses the finish line and win the UEC European men Elite road cycling championships in Trento on September 12 2021 Colbrelli won the race ahead of Belgian Remco Evenenpoel placed second and France Benoit Cosnefroy placed third Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI AFP Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLIAFP via Getty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) takes the win (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 2 of 28

2021 UEC Road European Championships Trento Elite Mens Road Race Trento Trento 1792 km 12092021 Sonny Colbrelli Italy photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) wins the European Championships road race 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Sonny Colbrelli of Italy celebrates winning during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) takes the win (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 4 of 28

Italian Sonny Colbrelli crosses the finish line and win the UEC European men Elite road cycling championships in Trento on September 12 2021 Colbrelli won the race ahead of Belgian Remco Evenenpoel placed second and France Benoit Cosnefroy placed third Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI AFP Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLIAFP via Getty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) takes the win (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 5 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium reacts after crosses the finishing line in second place during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 6 of 28

Italian Sonny Colbrelli C flanked by Belgian Remco Evenenpoel L and French Benoit Cosnefroy R celebrates on the podium after winning the UEC European men Elite road cycling championships in Trento on September 12 2021 Colbrelli won the race ahead of Belgian Remco Evenenpoel L placed second and France Benoit Cosnefroy R placed third Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI AFP Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLIAFP via Getty Images

Remco Evenepoel, Sonny Colbrelli and Benoit Cosnefroy on the podium (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 7 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium poses in disappointment with the silver medal after the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) claimed silver (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 8 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Sonny Colbrelli of Italy poses with the gold medal after the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) celebrates his European road title (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 9 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Sonny Colbrelli of Italy poses with the gold medal after the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 10 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Sonny Colbrelli of Italy celebrates winning the gold medal after the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 11 of 28

2021 UEC Road European Championships Trento Elite Mens Road Race Trento Trento 1792 km 12092021 Remco Evenepoel Belgium photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 12 of 28

2021 UEC Road European Championships Trento Elite Mens Road Race Trento Trento 1792 km 12092021 Remco Evenepoel Belgium Sonny Colbrelli Italy photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Remco Evenepoel leads Sonny Colbrelli in the final (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 13 of 28

2021 UEC Road European Championships Trento Elite Mens Road Race Trento Trento 1792 km 12092021 Remco Evenepoel Belgium Sonny Colbrelli Italy photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Remco Evenepoel and Sonny Colbrelli (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 14 of 28

2021 UEC Road European Championships Trento Elite Mens Road Race Trento Trento 1792 km 12092021 Sonny Colbrelli Italy photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 15 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Marc Hirschi of Switzerland competes in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Matteo Trentin leads Marc Hirschi, Remco Evenepoel and Sonny Colbrelli on the closing circuits (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 16 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Matteo Trentin of Italy leads the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Matteo Trentin (Italy) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 17 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Pavel Sivakov of Russian Federation competes in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Pavel Sivakov (Russia) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 18 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Benoit Cosnefroy of France competes in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Tadej Pogacar and Benoit Cosnefroy (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 19 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Ben Hermans of Belgium and Matteo Trentin of Italy compete in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Ben Hermans leads the breakaway (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 20 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia attacks in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 21 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium compete in the breakaway during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 22 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Joao Almeida of Portugal competes in the chase group during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

João Almeida (Portugal) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 23 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 LR Stan Dewulf of Belgium and Bauke Mollema of Netherlands compete in the chase group during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Bauke Mollema (Netherlands) and Stan Dewulf (Belgium) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 24 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Romain Bardet of France competes in the chase group during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Romain Bardet (France) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 25 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 LR Jonas Rapp of Germany and Simon Geschke of Germany compete during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Simon Geschke (Germany) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 26 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 David De La Cruz Melgarejo of Spain competes during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

David de la Cruz (Spain) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 27 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Hermann Pernsteiner of Austria competes during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Hermann Pernsteiner (Austria) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 28 of 28

TRENTO ITALY SEPTEMBER 12 Victor Campenaerts of Belgium Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Benoit Cosnefroy of France lead the peloton while fans cheer during the 27th UEC Road Cycling European Championships 2021 Elite Mens Road Race a 1792km race from TrentoPiazza Duomo to TrentoPiazza Duomo UECcycling on September 12 2021 in Trento Italy Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images

Belgium leads up the climb (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) won the men's road race at the European Championships in front of a home crowd, prevailing in a two-up sprint against Remco Evenepoel (Belgium).

Though the pre-race favourite lived up to his billing, it was anything but a predictable race. A ferocious start saw multiple breakaways form and re-form before a nine-man group escaped 60km from the finish. Evenepoel attacked this group on the penultimate ascent of the Povo with an acceleration so fierce that only Colbrelli and Benoît Cosnefroy (France) could follow.

Another surge from the Belgian distanced Cosnefroy on the final ascent of this climb, but despite Evenepoel's best efforts, he could not shake Colbrelli, and in the final sprint Colbrelli was victorious. Cosnefroy crossed the line 1:30 later to take the bronze medal.

"It's fantastic because I had a super team and in the final [Matteo] Trentin was super," Colbrelli said at the finish, "I followed Remco in the final climb. I'm very happy for this victory - it is double because it was achieved in Italy."

How it unfolded

The road began to rise as soon as the race left the neutral roll out and, on these slopes, the breakaway struggled to form.  A quartet comprised of Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spain), Aurélien Paret-Peintre (France), Franck Bonnamour (France), Harm Vanhoucke  (Belgium) eventually escaped. They seemed reluctant to fully commit, and though their languid pace was initially matched by the Italian-led peloton, their advantage never exceeded a minute and a half.

On the next climb, the Vigo Cavedine, the small time gap tempted attacks from the peloton as multiple riders sought to join the breakaway. A strong group containing Thibaut Pinot (France), four Spanish riders: Roger Adria, David de la Cruz, Gorka Izaguirre and Mikel Landa, Felix Großschartner (Austria), Sébastien Reichenbach (Switzerland), and Jonas Rapp (Germany) bridged across. The Italians, sensing the danger posed by this increasingly powerful group, sent Andrea Bagioli to foil its endeavours and, once again, the breakaway's advantage never exceeded a minute and a half.

Twenty kilometres later, on the ascent and descent of the Candriai, the race exploded. First, the breakaway disintegrated as Landa and Bonnamour were both dropped. Then, Romain Bardet (France), Remco Evenepoel (Belgium), Gianni Moscon (Italy) and Pavel Sivakov (Russia) launched a short-lived, speculative attack from the peloton, still 116km from the finish. The corresponding acceleration doomed the breakaway's efforts and it was a fragmented race that entered the finishing circuit.

Two large groups crossed the finish line for the first time, but on the Povo climb the race regrouped and, as the pace momentarily dropped, another fleeting breakaway formed. Diego Ulissi (Italy) caught this quartet with acceleration, but the group was soon caught by the peloton. With 85km still to race, only 48 riders remained while there had been four separate breakaways, all reabsorbed back into the peloton.

In the end, it took an échappée royale composed of Mark Padun (Ukraine), Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia), Matteo Trentin (Italy), Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) and Markus Hoelgaard (Norway) to escape the peloton and they built up an advantage of 36 seconds with 68km to go. Spooked by this move, France took control of the peloton, burning through riders alarmingly fast in their desperation to close the gap. Their pace distanced the majority of the peloton and the few who survived bridged up to the breakaway.

As Campenaerts and Padun were dropped in this mêlée, a nine-man group formed out front composed of Trentin, Colbrelli, Hoelgaard, Sivakov, Pogačar, Cosnefroy, Evenepoel, Ben Hermans (Belgium) and Marc Hirschi (Switzerland).

Wary of those in this group possessing a stronger sprint than him, Evenepoel attacked on the penultimate ascent of the Povo, 22km from the finish. His acceleration was partially successful, distancing three-quarters of his rivals, but two of the fastest finishers in Colbrelli and Cosnefroy were able to follow. Largely driven by Evenepoel, this group amassed a minute's lead and, by the last lap, it was clear that they would be fighting for victory.

Cosnefroy too was dropped on the next and final ascent of the Povo but Colbrelli clung on, and, in front of a gleeful, Italian crowd some numbers deep at the finish, he won the sprint to take a memorable victory.

Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) 4:19:45
2Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)
3Benoit Cosnefroy (France) 0:01:30
4Matteo Trentin (Italy) 0:01:44
5Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia)
6Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)
7Markus Hoelgaard (Norway)
8Ben Hermans (Belgium) 0:01:46
9Pavel Sivakov (Russian Federation) 0:01:49
10Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) 0:05:41
11Stan Dewulf (Belgium) 0:05:49
12Romain Bardet (France)
13Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) 0:05:50
14João Almeida (Portugal) 0:06:00
15Diego Ulissi (Italy)
16Simon Geschke (Germany)
17Bauke Mollema (Netherlands) 0:06:15
18Rui Costa (Portugal) 0:09:13
19Koen Bouwman (Netherlands)
20Michael Kukrle (Czech Republic)
21Dmitrii Strakhov (Russian Federation)
22Felix Grossschartner (Austria)
23Odd Christian Eiking (Norway)
24Matteo Badilatti (Switzerland)
25Warren Barguil (France)
26Sergei Chernetskii (Russian Federation)
27Sébastien Reichenbach (Switzerland)
28Nelson Oliveira (Portugal)
29Roger Adria Oliveras (Spain) 0:09:16
30Gianni Moscon (Italy) 0:09:21
31Harm Vanhoucke (Belgium)
DNFPhilippe Gilbert (Belgium)
DNFDylan Teuns (Belgium)
DNFGianni Vermeersch (Belgium)
DNFFranck Bonnamour (France)
DNFValentin Madouas (France)
DNFAurélien Paret Peintre (France)
DNFPierre-Luc Périchon (France)
DNFThibaut Pinot (France)
DNFZiga Jerman (Slovenia)
DNFDomen Novak (Slovenia)
DNFDavid Per (Slovenia)
DNFSebastian Langeveld (Netherlands)
DNFTimo Roosen (Netherlands)
DNFIde Schelling (Netherlands)
DNFJulius van den Berg (Netherlands)
DNFNick van der Lijke (Netherlands)
DNFGiovanni Aleotti (Italy)
DNFAndrea Bagioli (Italy)
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Italy)
DNFFilippo Ganna (Italy)
DNFDavid de la Cruz (Spain)
DNFImanol Erviti (Spain)
DNFIvan Garcia Cortina (Spain)
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spain)
DNFIon Izagirre Insausti (Spain)
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spain)
DNFAntonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spain)
DNFMiguel Heidemann (Germany)
DNFFlorian Lipowitz (Germany)
DNFJonas Rapp (Germany)
DNFJonas Rutsch (Germany)
DNFImmanuel Stark (Germany)
DNFJannik Steimle (Germany)
DNFGeorg Steinhauser (Germany)
DNFFabian Lienhard (Switzerland)
DNFGino Mäder (Switzerland)
DNFSimon Pellaud (Switzerland)
DNFRoland Thalmann (Switzerland)
DNFYannis Voisard (Switzerland)
DNFRuben Guerreiro (Portugal)
DNFRui Oliveira (Portugal)
DNFRafael Reis (Portugal)
DNFPavel Kochetkov (Russian Federation)
DNFRoman Maikin (Russian Federation)
DNFDenis Nekrasov (Russian Federation)
DNFArtem Nych (Russian Federation)
DNFKristian Aasvold (Norway)
DNFSven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)
DNFAlexander Kristoff (Norway)
DNFAndreas Leknessund (Norway)
DNFSam Bennett (Ireland)
DNFConn McDunphy (Ireland)
DNFRyan Mullen (Ireland)
DNFMatthew Teggart (Ireland)
DNFMarcin Budzinski (Poland)
DNFMichal Golas (Poland)
DNFJakub Kaczmarek (Poland)
DNFPrzemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Poland)
DNFMaciej Paterski (Poland)
DNFSzymon Tracz (Poland)
DNFFelix Gall (Austria)
DNFMarco Haller (Austria)
DNFHermann Pernsteiner (Austria)
DNFSebastian Schönberger (Austria)
DNFJan Bárta (Czech Republic)
DNFZdenek Stybar (Czech Republic)
DNFAdam Toupalík (Czech Republic)
DNFDaniel Turek (Czech Republic)
DNFJuraj Bellan (Slovakia)
DNFMarek Canecky (Slovakia)
DNFMartin Haring (Slovakia)
DNFJuraj Sagan (Slovakia)
DNFPeter Sagan (Slovakia)
DNFPatrik Tybor (Slovakia)
DNFGert Kivistik (Estonia)
DNFKarl Patrick Lauk (Estonia)
DNFMihkel Räim (Estonia)
DNFRein Taaramäe (Estonia)
DNFNorman Vahtra (Estonia)
DNFAnatolii Budiak (Ukraine)
DNFVitaliy Buts (Ukraine)
DNFOleksandr Holovash (Ukraine)
DNFMykhaylo Kononenko (Ukraine)
DNFAndrii Kulyk (Ukraine)
DNFMark Padun (Ukraine)
DNFKévin Geniets (Luxembourg)
DNFMichel Ries (Luxembourg)
DNFLuc Wirtgen (Luxembourg)
DNFJan Petelin (Luxembourg)
DNFAleksandr Riabushenko (Belarus)
DNFEmil Dima (Romania)
DNFEdgaras Kovaliovas (Lithuania)
DNFVenantas Lašinis (Lithuania)
DNFEvaldas Siskevicius (Lithuania)
DNFViktor Filutás (Hungary)
DNFBarnabás Peák (Hungary)
DNFJános Zsombor Pelikán (Hungary)
DNFAttila Valter (Hungary)
DNFLucas Eriksson (Sweden)
DNFKim Magnusson (Sweden)
DNFGeorgios Boutopoulos (Greece)
DNFMarolino Hoxha (Albania)
DNFMejdin Malhani (Albania)
DNFYlber Sefa (Albania)
DNFOlsian Velia (Albania)
DNFUkko Peltonen (Finland)
DNFOmer Goldstein (Israel)
DNFGuy Sagiv (Israel)
DNFJosip Rumac (Croatia)
DNFSpas Gyurov (Bulgaria)
DNFHafsteinn Geirsson (Iceland)
DNFIngvar Omarsson (Iceland)
DNFCristian Raileanu (Moldova)
DNFAndrej Petrovski (North Macedonia)
DNFAndreas Miltiadis (Cyprus)
DNFAntoine Berlin (Monaco)
DNFVictor Langellotti (Monaco)
DNFMusa Mikayilzade (Azerbaijan)
DNSJan Maas (Netherlands)

Latest on Cyclingnews