Battistella wins Veneto Classic
Hirschi and Restrepo complete podium in new Italian race
Samuele Battistella (opens in new tab) (Astana-Premier Tech) claimed victory in the inaugural edition of the Veneto Classic one-day rasce in Italy, holding off Marc Hirschi (opens in new tab) (UAE Team Emirates) and Jhonatan Restrepo (Androni-Sidermec) to win by five seconds after a breathless finale in Bassano del Grappa.
A native of nearby Rosssano Veneto, Battistella escaped with a shade under 40km to go in the company of Matteo Trentin (opens in new tab) (UAE Team Emirates), and they built what looked to be a winning lead on the first of three laps of the finishing circuit over the ascent of La Rosina.
The pair had more than half a minute in hand on a disparate group of chasers by the time they tackled La Rosina for the penultimate time, but the race changed in an instant when Trentin touched Battistella’s rear wheel and crashed on the climb, thus ending the impromptu coalition between the two strongest teams on show in the final event of the Ride the Dreamland series.
With a little over 20km to go, Trentin’s teammates Davide Formolo, Diego Ulissi and Hirschi were now minded to organise a chase. Indeed, Trentin himself briefly contributed after remounting, and Battistella’s lead naturally began to contract.
The former under-23 world champion began to take heart, however, when he crested the summit still with 20 seconds or so in hand on his pursuers.
“I asked the team what to do and Martino [Astana directeur sport Giuseppe Martinelli – ed.] told me to keep going steady and see if somebody came back on,” Battistella explained.
“Then when I got the top of the climb still alone, I pushed on all the way to the finish.”
Easier said than done, not least because Battistella still had another lap over La Rosina to come, while the Cofidis pair of Guillaume Martin and Remy Rochas were also very active in his pursuit.
The Italian maintained his tempo on the final time up the area’s most emblematic climb, while the policing presence of his teammate and Serenissima Gravel winner Alexey Lutsenko helped to disturb the chasers’ cohesion.
Martin, Rochas, Restrepo and Hirschi were to the fore on the final time up La Rosina, but the ever-vigilant Lutsenko marked the chase, and when Battistella crested the summit with seven kilometres remaining, he still had 20 seconds in hand.
Just as a local victory seemed assured, however, the Veneto Classic threw up one final twist when the descent to Bassano del Grappa was interrupted by a short but very stiff incline with 3.5km to go. Battistella betrayed his first signs of struggling here and his lead suddenly contracted to just half a dozen seconds as Hirschi piled on the pressure, fragmenting the chasing group once again.
Rochas, Restrepo and the inevitable Lutsenko came with Hirschi, and they were almost within touching distance of Battistella as they began to descend once again.
A combination of mutual mistrust among the chasers and Battistella’s strength ensured they would come no closer and the Italian youngster held on to claim his first professional victory.
Hirschi had to settle for second place at six seconds, outsprinting Restrepo and Lutsenko, while Rochas came home fifth at 10 seconds.
“To be honest, I never turned around on the last rise, I just went flat out. I looked back on the descent afterwards, and I could see I still had 50 metres and there wasn’t any agreement between the chasers, so I understood immediately that I could do it,” said Battistella.
“If Trentin had been there, it might have been a bit easier to get to the finish, but then maybe I would have lost in a sprint against him, so perhaps that incident changed my race for the better.”
How it unfolded
The Veneto Classic has designs on entering the WorldTour in the coming seasons, and its organiser already has grand ambitions for the start of the race. In an echo of Vincenzo Torriani and the 1978 Giro d’Italia, Pozzato envisages that his race will eventually set out from Piazza San Marco in the heart of Venice.
For the maiden event, the Veneto Classic had to make do with setting out from the shore of the Venetian Lagoon, amid the golden brown leaves of the Parco San Giuliano. The race was the final event of the Italian season, and there was a decidedly relaxed ambience before the start, which was bathed in pleasant autumn sunshine.
From the moment the flag dropped on the fringes of Mestre the racing was full-throated. Following a brisk opening to proceedings, a group of seven riders managed to extricate itself from the peloton, with Peter Rikunov (Gazprom Rusvelo), Luca Pajek (Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang), Matteo Zurlo (Zalf Euromobil Fior), Lorenzo Visintainer (General Store Essegibi), Federico Burchio (Work Service Marchiol), Simone Bevilacqua (Vini Zabù) and Paolo Toto (Amore&Vita) forging clear after the 25km mark.
Come the day’s first climb at Muro di Ca’ del Poggio after 57km, their lead had yawned out towards three minutes. The terrain became gradually more wearying thereafter, as the race snaked through the tumbling hills of Prosecco country around Valdobbiadene, and the break’s lead began to tumble once they hit La Rosina for the first time with 75km remaining.
The race started to take on a new guise on the first of two ascents of the short but sharp cobbled ascent of La Tisa, where Trentin’s bracing tempo whittled down the bunch and pared the break’s advantage back inside a minute.
The story repeated itself on the second time up La Tisa soon afterwards, and a reduced peloton, still powered by UAE Team Emirates, caught the break shortly afterwards.
The next phase of the race developed almost immediately, when Trentin, Battistella and Riccardo Verza (Zalf Euromobil Fior) escaped with 40km to go on the first of three local laps around Marostica.
Guillaume Martin quickly realised the danger of being caught behind representatives from the race’s strongest teams. Once the gradient began to bite on La Rosina, he accelerated from the peloton and set out in pursuit of the leaders, bringing a small group with him, but Battistella and Trentin still had 20 seconds in hand come the summit.
They had almost doubled that advantage by the time they hit the base of La Rosina the next time around, and though Trentin’s crash would alter the tenor of the finale, Battistella survived a tumultuous finale to bring the curtain down on his season with a win.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech||5:01:49|
|2||Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:06|
|3||Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|4||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech|
|5||Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis||0:00:10|
|6||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:27|
|7||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|8||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:00:29|
|9||Andrea Piccolo (Ita) Italy||0:00:55|
|10||Cristian Scaroni (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|11||Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team||0:01:37|
|12||Alberto Dainese (Ita) Italy||0:01:39|
|13||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|14||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|15||Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|16||Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|17||Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|18||Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|19||Davide Orrico (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|20||Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|21||Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|22||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|23||Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|24||Riccardo Tosin (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|25||Alex Tolio (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
|26||Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|27||Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|28||Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|29||Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|30||Antonio Puppio (Ita) Team Qhubeka|
|31||Jonas Rapp (Ger) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang||0:02:13|
|32||Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo||0:02:31|
|33||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech|
|34||Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|35||Marco Tizza (Ita) Amore e Vita||0:05:34|
|36||Davide Botta (Ita) Italy|
|37||Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Italy|
|38||Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates|
|39||Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|40||Edward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team||0:05:53|
|41||Matteo Zurlo (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior||0:07:00|
|42||Davide De Pretto (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|43||Riccardo Verza (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
|44||Petr Rikunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|45||Kevin Bonaldo (Ita) Team Qhubeka|
|46||Federico Burchio (Ita) IWD|
|47||Thomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis|
|48||Negasi Haylu Abreha (Eth) Team Qhubeka||0:08:54|
|49||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis||0:10:04|
|50||Stijn Daemen (Ned) Abloc CT|
|51||Timon Loderer (Ger) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang|
|52||Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|53||Thomas Pesenti (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|54||Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis|
|55||Michael Konczer (Aut) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang|
|56||Matteo Baseggio (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|57||Lorenzo Visintainer (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|58||Edoardo Faresin (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
|59||Samuele Carpene (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|60||Hugo Toumire (Fra) Cofidis|
|61||Mattia Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|62||Raul Colombo (Ita) IWD|
|63||Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|64||Francesco Zandri (Ita) IWD|
|65||Marco Grendene (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|66||Alex Raimondi (Ita) Italy|
|67||Luca Mozzato (Ita) Italy|
|68||Rainer Kepplinger (Aut) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang|
|69||Riccardo Lucca (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|70||Davide Bais (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|71||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|72||Mattia Guasco (Ita) Team Qhubeka|
|73||Giacomo Garavaglia (Ita) IWD|
|74||Leonardo Marchiori (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|75||Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA|
|76||Francesco Di Felice (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|77||Erik Fetter (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|78||Francesco Carollo (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|79||Luka Pajek (Slo) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang||0:10:27|
|DNS||Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech|
|DNS||Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|DNF||Kevin Pezzo Rosola (Ita) Italy|
|DNF||Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec|
|DNF||Fabio Di Guglielmo (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|DNF||Edoardo Martinelli (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|DNF||Jacopo Cortese (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|DNF||Niccolo' Salvietti (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|DNF||Andrea Ghislanzoni (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM|
|DNF||Davide Appollonio (Ita) Amore e Vita|
|DNF||Mattia Benedetti (Ita) Amore e Vita|
|DNF||Paolo Totò (Ita) Amore e Vita|
|DNF||Vladislav Zubar (Ukr) Amore e Vita|
|DNF||Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col) Astana-Premier Tech|
|DNF||Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech|
|DNF||Enrico Zanoncello (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|DNF||Lorenzo Milesi (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|DNF||Luca Cretti (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|DNF||Giosue' Crescioli (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|DNF||Matteo Freddi (Ita) Beltrami TSA Tre Colli|
|DNF||Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis|
|DNF||Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|DNF||Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|DNF||Damiano Cima (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo|
|DNF||Ettore Pozza (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|DNF||Jacopo Menegotto (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi|
|DNF||Stefan Kolb (Aut) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang|
|DNF||Marvin Hammerschmid (Aut) Hrinkow Advarics Cycleang|
|DNF||Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|DNF||Luca Coati (Ita) Team Qhubeka|
|DNF||Karel Vacek (Cze) Qhubeka NextHash|
|DNF||Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates|
|DNF||Jan Petelin (Lux) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|DNF||Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|DNF||Simone Bevilacqua (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|DNF||Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM|
|DNF||Giovanni Bortoluzzi (Ita) Work Service-Marchiol-Dynatek|
|DNF||Stefano Di Benedetto (Ita) IWD|
|DNF||Christian Danilo Pase (Ita) IWD|
|DNF||Alessio Acco (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
|DNF||Giulio Masotto (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
|DNF||Manlio Moro (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior|
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Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.
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