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2nd Edition Monte Paschi Eroica
By Staff
Date: 3/8/2008
2nd Edition Monte Paschi Eroica

2nd Edition Monte Paschi Eroica
Bold moves ruled the day on the narrow roads of Chianti on the way to Sienna, that would finish with a duel between two classics riders. Report, Results and Photos

2nd Edition Monte Paschi Eroica - 181 km
CSC's Fabian Cancellara won the heroic one day race in Italy in a final kilometer duel with breakmate Alessandro Ballan of Lampre on the Piazza del Campo in Siena. Ballan led out at 200 meters from the finish but it was Cancellara who had the stronger legs flying by Ballan in the final 50 meters of the uphill finish with Ballan unable to respond finishing on Fabian's wheel.

Fabian Cancellara Celebrates his victory. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

The race started to day under cool conditions with Mario Cipollini flagging the riders off at the start. The first escape, which turned out to be the break of the day came at 26 kilometers when a group of 25 riders escaped the peloton:

Visconti (Quickstep), Bellotti and Cheula (Barloword), Auge (Cofidis), Sella, Richeze and Dall’Antonia (Csf Group-Navigare), Hondo (Diquigiovanni-Androni Gioc.), Ordowski (Gerolsteiner), High Road's Marco Pinotti and Siutsou, Lampre's Murro and Santambrogio, Willems (Liquigas), Celli and Chiarini (Lpr), Saunier Duval's Capecchi and  Capelli, Ryder Hesjedal (Slipstream), Breschel and Lund of CSC, Sabatini (Milram), Ignatiev and Gottfried (Tinkoff). With 155 kilometers to go the peloton took its time organizing a chase for the early escapees.

A long day ahead for the 23 riders who would spend 140 kilometers off the front. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

The group continued to improve its gap dropping Pinotti and Gottfried along the way; the group of 23 continued to work well averaging 42km/ph gaining a maximum gap of almost 3 minutes on the third segment of gravel road at 94 kilometers to go.

After 105 kilometers of road and gravel the peloton picked up its tempo with Liquigas and Lampre leading the chase, though at first it seemed to have no effect on the 23, with three hours of racing and 75 km from the finish the escape still maintained a lead of 2 minutes in hand and continued to for the next 25 km.

Alessandro Ballan and Fabian Cancellara at the front of the chase.
Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

An attack in the break led by at 135 km Dall’Antonia got him a gap of ten seconds, he was joined 4 km later by Capecchi and the duo raised their gap to 55 second. The chase for the fugitives sorted out the group from 23 to 13 as riders dropped as the former mates chased and swept up the attackers; Visconti, Bellotti, Chela, Hondo, Siutsou, Murro, Santambrogio, Willems, Capecchi, Hesjedal, Ignatiev, Breschel and Dall’Antonia were the survivors while behind them LPR led the chase in the second group which was losing ground with the gap rising to 1:25.

With 20 km to go Ryder Hesjedal attacked out of the 13 got a gap and was off on a flyer of his own, behind him Ballan and Cancellara had joined the chase and were on the chase and caught Hesjedal with 10 kilometers to go on the seventh gravel section. Hesjedal fought hard to stay with the Swiss/Italo duo but he fell off the duos wheel and was eventually absorbed by the chase group who followed at half a minute.

Ballan and Cancellara were burning up the final kilometers looking like a two man time trial team each taking long pulls at the front setting the pace. With 5 km to go the chasers were 30 seconds behind with Cancy and Ryder flying through the narrow country lanes toward the finish.

With 1km to go the two continued to pull hard with Ballan making an attempted escape at 500 meters, but Cancellara was on his wheel as they climbed the final rise to the finish. Ballan started his sprint at 150 meters as they came around the final right hand turn but Cancellara swept by the Italian and took the second victory for the Eroica for team CSC. Ballan finished on his wheel too tired to respond in the final 50 meters.

An exhausted Ballan hangs on as Cancellara drives to the line.
Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

The first bunch of 5 riders finished 15 second behind led by High Roads Linus Gerdemann to take the final podium step with Slipstream's Martijn Maaskant in for 4th and Baden Cooke of Barloworld 5th.
Results below team comments.

Lampre Comments
Only at the end of sprint by two Alessandro Ballan surrendered to Fabian Cancellara.

In the arrival of the 2nd edition of Eroica, the two champions of dirt road reached together Piazza del Campo in Siena: Cancellara reply to Ballan's attack at 200 mts and so he could cover for first the last bend and reach the finish line in first position.

Ballan attacks as Cancellara responds. Photo c. Lampre

Important award for Murro: he won the classification for the dirt road sectors, thanks to his presence in the main breakaway that characterized the first part of the race.

"Team ran in a very good way" - Fabrizio Bontempi, Lampre's sport director, commented - "In the main breakaway there were Murro and Santambrogio, while in the bunch all the other blue-fucsia athletes were controlling the situation. When the breakaway expired, Ballan attacked on the last climb and he selected heavily the opponents. Only Cancellara could follow him. We're sorry for the missed victory, but of course we're satisfied about Ballan's fit".

Ballan is satisfied: "Eroica is a race I like, a victory would have been beautiful: unluckily Cancellara was too strong. My compliments to the team for the perfect support. I'm happy because my fit is quite good and it will increase day by day".

Team CSC Comments
Fabian Cancellara won a brilliant victory in the new Italian one-day race Monte Paschi Eroica. The race took place for professionals for the first time last year, where Team CSC took a double win with Alexandr Kolobnev and Marcus Ljungquist. Cancellara managed a great follow up on last year's triumph by beating Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) in the sprint on the legendary Piazza del Campo in Siena.

The 181-kilometer race from Gaiole in Chianti to Siena has become somewhat of an institution within Italian cycling sport after having been held as a pure recreational race for a number of years. 56 kilometers of the route is on old steep graveled roads in the Chianti Region in the Southern part of Tuscany.

So far Team CSC has dominated the professional edition of the race and with the victory today Cancellara yet again managed to underline the fact that he is more than ready for the oncoming classics in Northern Europe.

”It was a great victory for both me and the team, because there's no doubt that this is a very unique race. I wasn't feeling all that great to begin with, but once the sprint opened up my legs were cooperating just fine. In the finale I was able to make a difference, which tells me that I'm on the right track ahead of the classics,” explained a happy Fabian Cancellara following his second victory this year.

Cancellara split the favorite's group shortly before the last graveled stretch and only Alessandro Ballan was able to keep up. The two classics specialists managed to build up a small lead and during the last kilometers Cancellara left nothing to chance and ended up winning the sprint comfortably in Siena.

”Everything turned out perfectly for us today. We had Anders Lund and Matti Breschel in the long break and they both delivered a great effort out there. Fabian showed tremendous strength at the end and won a brilliant victory. It's a really tough race and it definitely has the potential to become one of cycling sport's all-time greats. It was a good sign for us to have one of our biggest classics profiles at the top of the podium,” said sports director Lars Michaelsen after the race.

Podium: Linus Gerdemann, Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan

2008 Monte Paschi Eroica Results
Gaiole in Chianti - Siena
181km - 4:34'41 - 39.6 km/h
1 133 Sui19810318 Cancellara Fabian 1981 Sui Csc Team Csc 4:34'41
2 81 Ita19791106 Ballan Alessandro 1979 Ita Lam Lampre 4:34'41
3 72 Ger19820916 Gerdemann Linus 1982 Ger Thr High Road 4:34'56

4 124 Ned19830727 Maaskant Martijn 1983 Ned Slipstream/Chipotle
5 25 Aus19781012 Cooke Baden 1978 Aus Bar Barloworld
6 23 Sui19770705 Calcagni Patrick 1977 Sui Bar Barloworld
7 56 Swe19720515 Axelsson Niklas 1972 Swe Sda Diquigiovanni - Androni
8 76 Swe19840404 Lövkvist Thomas 1984 Swe Thr High Road
9 152 Rus19820129 Brutt Pavel 1982 Rus Tcs Tinkoff Credit Systems 4:35'19
10 125 Can19801209 Hesjedal Ryder 1980 Can Tsl Slipstream/Chipotle 4:35'19
11 105 Ita19810407 Ermeti Giairo 1981 Ita Lpr Lpr Brakes 4:35'19
12 27 Ita19801210 Longo Borghini Paolo 1980 Ita Bar Barloworld 4:35'19
13 28 Ita19830531 Scognamiglio Carlo 1983 Ita Bar Barloworld 4:35'19

The break starts another climb on a gravel section. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti

14 95 Bra19790616 Fischer Murilo Antonio 1979 Bra Liq Liquigas 4:36'31
15 108 Ita19800711 Pietropolli Daniele 1980 Ita Lpr Lpr Brakes
16 127 Usa19850303 Cozza Steven 1985 Usa Tsl Slipstream - Chipotle
17 116 Esp19810513 Gomez Gomez Angel 1981  Saunier Duval /Scott
18 137 Nor19750209 Arvesen Kurt-Asle 1975 Nor Csc Team Csc
19 71 Ger19860919 Ciolek Gerald 1986 Ger Thr High Road
20 54 Ger19740104 Hondo Danilo 1974 Ger Sda Diquigiovanni - Androni
21 67 Ger19800620 Wegmann Fabian 1980 Ger Gst Gerolsteiner
22 33 Col19800410 Duque Leonardo 1980 Col Cof Cofidis, Le Credit
23 112 Sui19790509 Bertogliati Rubens 1979 Sui Sdv Saunier Duval/Scott
24 97 Ita19841114 Nibali Vincenzo 1984 Ita Liq Liquigas
25 131 Den19840831 Breschel Matti 1984 Den Csc Team Csc

26 61 Ger19731109 Ordowski Volker 1973 GerGerolsteiner 4:36'31
27 148 Ita19740309 Velo Marco 1974 Ita Mrm Team Milram
28 88 Ita19841007 Santambrogio Mauro 1984 Ita Lam Lampre
29 136 Den19850214 Lund Anders 1985 Den Csc Team Csc
30 31 Fra19760207 Brard Florent 1976 Fra Cof Cofidis, Le Credit P.
31 153 Rus19870930 Rovny Ivan 1987 Rus Tcs Tinkoff Credit Systems 3
2 12 Fra19850111 Loubet Julien 1985 Fra Alm Ag2r La Mondiale
33 94 Ita19810408 Da Dalto Mauro 1981 Ita Liq Liquigas
34 134 Aus19730806 O'grady Stuart 1973 Aus Csc Team Csc
35 122 Aus19840910 Sutton Christopher 1984 Aus Tsl Slipstream/Chipotle
36 41 Ita19810109 Sella Emanuele 1981 Ita Csf Csf Group/Navigare
37 45 Ita19830726 Dall'antonia Tiziano 1983 Ita Csf Csf Group/Navigare
38 8 Ita19830113 Visconti Giovanni 1983 Ita Qst Quickstep
39 55 Ita19851006 Ginanni Francesco 1985 Ita Sda Diquigiovanni/Androni
40 44 Arg19830307 Richeze Axel Maximiliano 1983 Arg Csf Group - Navigare
41 21 Ita19790806 Bellotti Francesco 1979 Ita Bar Barloworld 4:37'01
42 3 Ita19820511 Facci Mauro 1982 Ita Qst Quickstep 4:38'51
43 11 Ukr19790207 Krivtsov Yuriy 1979 Ukr Alm Ag2r La Mondiale 4:38'51
44 151 Rus19850507 Ignatiev Mikhail 1985 Rus Tcs Tinkoff  4:38'51

45 46 Ita19820320 Priamo Matteo 1982 Ita Csf Csf Group - Navigare 4:40'01
46 43 Col19790706 Laverde Jimenez Luis Felipe 1979 Col  Csf Group - Navigare
47 86 Ita19780519 Murro Christian 1978 Ita Lam Lampre
48 107 Slo19770712 Golcer Jure 1977 Slo Lpr Lpr Brakes
49 35 Fra19741206 Auge Stéphane 1974 Fra Cof Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone
50 128 Fra19820920 Patour Kilian 1982 Fra Tsl Slipstream - Chipotle
51 24 Ita19790523 Cheula Giampaolo 1979 Ita Bar Barloworld
52 98 Bel19790908 Willems Frederik 1979 Bel Liq Liquigas
53 73 Ger19750619 Grabsch Bert 1975 Ger Thr High Road 4:41'56
54 78 Blr19820809 Siutsou Kanstantsin 1982 Blr Thr High Road 4:41'56
55 114 Ita19860613 Capecchi Eros 1986 Ita Saunier Duval/Scott 4:43'01
56 115 Ita19850509 Capelli Ermanno 1985 Ita  Saunier Duval/Scott 4:43'01
57 113 Lat19760121 Belohvosciks Raivis 1976 Lat Saunier Duval/Scott 4:43'01
58 103 Ita19840220 Chiarini Riccardo 1984 Ita Lpr Lpr Brakes 4:43'01
59 101 Ita19800715 Bailetti Paolo 1980 Ita Lpr Lpr Brakes 4:43'01
60 132 Den19800116 Bak Lars Ytting 1980 Den Csc Team Csc 4:44'11
61 123 Usa19810610 Frischkorn William 1981 Usa Slipstream/Chipotle 4:44'11
62 147 Ita19850218 Sabatini Fabio 1985 Ita Mrm Team Milram 4:44'41
63 1 Ita19740401 Bettini Paolo 1974 Ita Qst Quickstep 4:44'41

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