The 7th Gran Premio Nobili Rubinetterie - Coppa PapÓ Carlo
was held today near the Italian north-western town of Arona (another one-day race with the same name is going to take place in nearby Stresa tomorrow) over a cumulative distance of 178-8 km. (a first piece spanning over 52.4 km. followed by eight laps of a 15.8 km circuit) .
Winner on the San Carlone hill slopes was the neo-professional rider Gianluca Brambilla (Ita - Colnago-CSF) from Vicenza, who closed down on solo frontrunner Matteo Montaguti (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) first, then made the most out of his climbing abilities to go clear all by himself in the last three hundred meters and claim his first success in the professional cycling ranks. Montaguti eventually finished third, with Francesco Bellotti (Ita - Liquigas-Doimo) sandwiched in between the two aforementioned guys.
Ivan Basso, back in the saddle for the first time after his Giro d'Italia win, stayed near the front of the bunch for most of the race and crossed the line about four minutes behind the winner.
Montaguti broke away 35 km. into the race, alongside fellow Italians Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone) and Ivan Basso's cousin Alessandro Raisoni (Carmiooro-NGC), as well as Poland's Bartosz Huzarski (ISD-Neri). The quartet reached a maximum lead of four minutes and 35 seconds (km. 82 check). Raisoni fell off the pace at km. 130, while a seven-strong chase group formed behind, containing Brambilla and Bellotti plus Riccardo Chiarini (De Rosa Stac Plastic), Giuseppe Muraglia and Luca Zanasca (CDC-Cavaliere), Fabrice Piemontesi (Androni-Diquigiovanni) and Australia's Travis Meyer (Garmin Transitions) as the only non-Italian in such a bunch. Later in the race Montaguti remained all by himself on the front, but was joined by Brambilla with five kilometers to go.
Meyer finished in fifth, while also his teammate Danny Pate got himself into the day's top ten spots.
"I started the race with the aim of getting myself into some breakaway and work hard, and I succeeded after about 110 km. As the miles were going by, I was feling better and better, and the peloton was letting us go. In the last descent I was told that Montaguti was just ten seconds ahead so I tried and closed down on him. I caught him and we went together to the line. The last kilometer was uphill, and I started my sprint with 300 meters to go. My opponent was unable to counter" the winner said, adding that "I want to dedicate my first victory as a professional rider to my family, that have always supportato (supported) me, and also sopportato (tolerated) me as the right knee injury kept me far from the bike all March long. I think today's horrible weather was also of help to me; other riders may soon get enough of the rain, but I usually hope for bad weather when I'm racing".
Gran Premio Nobili Rubinetterie Arona (178.8 km.)
Top 10 Places
1. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita - Colnago-CSF) - 04h22'36" (39.7 kph)
2. Francesco Bellotti (Ita - Liquigas-Doimo) - at 02"
3. Matteo Montaguti (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - s.t.
4. Riccardo Chiarini (Ita - De Rosa-Stac Plastic) - at 05"
5. Cameron Meyer (Aus - Garmin Transitions) - s.t.
6. Luca Zanasca (Ita - CDC-Cavaliere) - at 08"
7. Fabrice Piemontesi (Ita - Androni-Diquigiovanni) - at 12"
8. Alessandro Donati (Ita - Acqua & Sapone) - s.t.
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol - ISD-Neri) - at 22"
10. Danny Pate (USA - Garmin Transitions) - at 25"