Saturday's challenging stage, that wrapped up this year's edition of the "Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali - Trofeo UniCredit Banca", was raced over 178.3 kilometres between Fiorano Modenese and Sassuolo (see profile down in the page).
The final leg proved that ISD-Neri just can't help getting one of their men into some breakaway: if "Nytro" Grabovskyy remained comfortably inside the pack today, it didn't take longer than a dozen kilometers for his Polish teammate Bartosz Huzarski to ride clear of the bunch along with Italy's Stefano Borchi (De Rosa-Stac Plastic). The pairing managed to build up a lead of 08'10" by km. 81, and even eight minutes, 28 seconds as they crossed the line at Sassuolo for the first time, starting the three laps of the final circuit that contained the Montegibbio "wall" (1.9 km. with gradients up to 16-18 percent)
In the meantime Giuseppe Muraglia (Ita - Cdc Cavaliere), also in search of media exposure today, had distanced himself from the gruppo after about 40 kilometers. His attempt didn't seem to bear fruit though, for the Italian just stayed a long time in the middle of nowhere, sandwiched in between the guys he was pointlessly trying to chase down and the non-chasing peloton, his gap to the duo in the lead standing in between two and half minutes and about five minutes.
More significant than his "attack" was the (small) battle of top GC contenders that broke out as they hit the Montegibbio again, starring ... the usual suspects: Riccardo Riccò (Ita - Ceramica Flaminia), Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol - Miche), José Rodolfo Serpa Pérez (Col - Androni Giocattoli-Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita - Colnago-CSF Inox) e Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Miche). It was too early for crucial moves anyway, so when Muraglia was caught, he was replaced in the "closest chaser" seat only by a duo of "minor" Lampre riders with no overall ambitions: Daniele Righi and skilled neopro Adriano Malori. The guys succeeded in taking some time out of the frontrunners, but so was doing the pack, that brought Malori (earlier) and Righi (later) back as they were climbing Monte Gibbio for the fourth and final time.
The day's (and race's) last ascent played host to another key event: Bartosz Huzarski dropped his breakaway companion and continued his march at the front all by himself. The Pole was leading Borchi by a good 27 seconds at the summit, with Riccò in third place 02'27" behind. Things didn't take any different turn in the descent into Sassuolo: Bartosz Huzarski held on to his advantage and finished off the job to clinch a great solo victory, with Stefano Borchi getting the runner-up spot as (small, and perhaps not too welcomed) reward for his efforts. Luca Ascani of the Cdc-Cavaliere team filled in the remaining top three place ahead of Serpa Pérez the man from the Andes.
Huzarski aside, the other rider celebrating at the finishing line today was Liquigas-Doimo's Ivan Santaromita, officially crowned GC king of the 2010 Coppi & Bartali Week. The Italian and his teammates made a solid defense of the race leadership and the boy from Varese captured the title, with Niemiec and Serpa standing alongside him on the eventual podium. Riccardo Riccò proved that he has kept much of his fighting attitude, and completed his comeback to the races after his doping-related sanction with a fifth place overall result.
Przemyslaw Niemiec hit the podium also as KOM winner, and José Rodolfo Serpa Pérez triumphed in the Points classification, as well as a member of the squad with the longest name in the cycling world, that finished atop the Teams classification. Last and maybe also least, Damiano Caruso (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) won the best young rider trophy.
Stage 5 (Fiorano Modenese to Sassuolo, 183.8 km):
Top 10 Results
1. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol - ISD-Neri) - 04h36'09" (38.740 kph)
2. Stefano Borchi (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - at 42"
3. Luca Ascani (Ita - CDC-Cavaliere) - at 02'00"
4. José R. Serpa Perez (Col - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 02'02"
5. Emanuele Sella (Ita - Carmiooro-NGC) - at 02'02"
6. Jackson Rodriguez (Ven - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 02'02"
7. Leopold Koenig (Cze - Psk-Whirpool) - at 02'02"
8. Massimiliano Gentili (Ita - Ceramica Flaminia) - at 02'02"
9. Riccardo Chiarini (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - at 02'02"
10. Luca Zanasca (Ita - CDC-Cavaliere) - at 02'02"
* Complete stage results HERE (pdf file).
Coppi & Bartali Week - Final GC
Top 10 Places
1. Ivan Santaromita (Ita - Liquigas-Doimo) - 20h12'50"
2. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol - Miche) - at 01'43"
3. José R. Serpa Perez (Col - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 02'25"
4. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 02'38"
5. Riccardo Riccò (Ita - Ceramica Flaminia) - at 02'44"
6. Riccardo Chiarini (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - at 02'44"
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - at 02'52"
8. Sergio Pardilla (Spa - Carmiooro-NGC) - at 03'03"
9. Jackson Rodriguez (Ven - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 03'05"
10. Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Miche) - at 03'18"
* Full final GC HERE (pdf file).
Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
As Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale
1984 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1985 Laurent Fignon (Fra)
1986 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
1987 Maurizio Rossi (Ita)
1988 Adriano Baffi (Ita)
1989 Bruno Leali (Ita)
1990 Rolf Sørensen (Den)
1991 Phil Anderson (Aus)
1992 Moreno Argentin (Ita)
1993 Michele Bartoli (Ita)
1994 Rodolfo Massi (Ita)
1995 - not held
1996 Gabriele Colombo (Ita)
1997 Roberto Petito (Ita)
1998 - not held
As Memorial Cecchi Gori
1999 Romans Vainsteins (Lat)
2000 Paolo Bettini (Ita)
As Settimana Internazionale di Coppi & Bartali
2001 Ruslan Ivanov (Mda)
2002 Francesco Casagrande (Ita)
2003 Mirko Celestino (Ita)
2004 Giuliano Figueras (Ita)
2005 Franco Pellizotti (Ita)
2006 Damiano Cunego (Ita)
2007 Michele Scarponi (Ita)
2008 Cadel Evans (Aus)
2009 Damiano Cunego (Ita)