wild bunch of over 130 young riders, many of Italy's top sprinting sensations (in the Elite-2 & U23 class) included, rushed to Sannazzaro de'Burgondi, a place of about 5,000 located in the north of the country, to compete in the 56th GP Sannazzaro, covering a total distance of 128 km. - e.g. 24 laps of a mainly flat circuit of five kilometres each.
Plenty of trophy cups were at stake at that Lombard town this past Tuesday.
The boys of the Russian NT were apparently well aware of that
and started the fireworks in the very
The other riders and teams in attendance (that were mostly from Italy)
had no intention to let the
Russians go and quickly set off in pursuit.
But soon later a Russian succeeded in making the gap: Andrei Klyuev
broke clear alongside two Italian
colleagues: Mattia Sinigaglia (Bottoli)
as well white-clad Thierry Moret (Big Team).
The "Green Army" of Team Delio Gallina drove the chase for some time.
The chase was fruitful.
A contender distanced himself from the others in order to win
an early intermediate sprint and get the
LOL. What was the rider on the right (of the picture) doing
while the rest of the pack was sprinting?
Attacks didn't stop, and the peloton began to split apart as the race progressed.
Until the WINNING breakaway of five formed during lap nine, courtesy of
Federico Rocchetti (NGC
Perrel-Casati, in fact Lampre's "young gun" team)
and his fellow Italians Alberto Contoli (Bottoli), Michele
Foppoli (Delio Gallina),
Michele Gobbi (FWR Bata) and Luca Orlandi (Aurora Named-M.I. Impianti).
Chatting in the bunch, trying to organize some chase. In vain.
The pack had all the time to reel in the Fab Five on the front.
But just proved unable to ...
A rear view of the pack making it to finish of the ninth lap.
And a later front view. Too many different
jerseys on the front of the gruppo just
that no squads were brave enough
to take matters in their own hands.
The bike lane was on the right side, but so what? Gobbi, Rocchetti,
Contoli, Foppoli and Orlandi can ride
wherever they want to :P
At that point, Federico Rocchetti of the "young Lampre" squad
was sitting in second wheel inside the
Alberto Contoli (Bottoli), Michele Foppoli (Team Delio Gallina)
as well as Luca Orlandi (Aurora
Foppoli and Orlandi ...
... and just Orlandi, who shall turn 22 the next ... Halloween.
The leading quintet stayed as one also in the second half of the race.
The escapee's teammates (here's one of them from the Casati-NGC squad,
and another from the Delio
Gallina team) did a good job slowing the chase.
The group picked up the pace in the last few laps.
But that just came a bit too late.
The breakaway passing by the local church of Saints Nazarius & Celsius.
Oh, look at that banner, the final lap is starting!
Hey, I said look at the BANNER, eh!!! ;)
Despite efforts from the pursuers, the fugitives managed to hold on to
a fifty-meter lead, and victory
remained a matter of five, with a
small bunch sprint eventually determining the race outcome.
It was a close battle ... of four, as Gobbi started his sprint too early
to end up with no more gasoline
Contoli (L), Orlandi (C) and Foppoli (R) gave Rocchetti a run for his money,
but nonetheless the man
in "Lampre's colors" emerged victorious.
Flowers for the winner (the lady on the left
is a local town councillor, by the way)
Sometimes it's soooo hard to be a race winner
(sometimes it ain't, though ...)
The top three finishers plus another welcomed guest to the podium.
Now just the top 3 guys. L to R: Michele Foppoli (Delio Gallina),
Federico Rocchetti (Cicli
Alberto Contoli (Nordelettrica-Bottoli-Sorelle Ramonda)
Our last tribute to Federico Rocchetti, here caught almost "eating"
the microphone during the
after-race interviews. The youngster
from the Bergamo area of Lombardy, born on January 14, 1986,
put a good five victories in the bag so far this season.
And he's got plenty of talent too. So don't be surprised if
you happen to hear his name again (and again) in years to come.
56th GP Sannazzaro (Sannazzaro de'Burgondi, 128 km):
Top 10 Results
1. Federico Rocchetti (Cicli Casati Ngc Perrel) - 02h53' (44.393 kph)
2. Michele Foppoli (Delio Gallina-S.Inox Filcre)
3. Alberto Contoli (Nordelettrica Bottoli Sorelle Ramonda)
4. Luca Orlandi (Aurora Named-M.I. Impianti)
5. Michele Gobbi (SC Fwr Bata)
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Nordelettrica-Bottoli-Sorelle Ramonda)
7. Matteo Pelucchi (Bottoli)
8. Edoardo Costanzi (Cremonese Arvedi)
9. Alberto Gatti (Delio Gallina-S.Inox Filcre)
10. Marco Depetris (Centro Revisioni Cerone)
Starters: 131. Finishers: 94.