Aussie Richard Moffat (L) and Italy's Luigi Scalmana (R) in the
The “Trofeo Pina e Mario Bazzigaluppi” is a UCI-1.6 sanctioned race, reserved for U23 and Elite-2 riders and featuring a world-class field, that took place on Saturday in the Lombardia region of Italy.
Organized by “Gruppo Sportivo Ciclistico Viris Lomellina”, one of the region’s most important teams in the amateur scene, the race covered 173 km. in the south-western area of Lombardy, with different laps of a circuit around Vigevano, the town where both the start and finishing line were located.
Courtesy of the predominantly flat parcours, and the absence of annoying winds, the race was extremely fast (the average speed going above 45 km/h) and ended in a bunch sprint. The winner was 21-year-old Paride Grillo, a Lombard fastman riding for Ceramiche Pagnoncelli FMB Ferrer, whose own palmares can boasts several victories on bunch sprints. Maybe he’s not the Cipollini of the 2010s, but you’ll likely hear Grillo’s name more than once in the future.
The competition was off to a quick start, with several skirmishes in its early part, but all breakaway attempts failed due to the fast pace set by the bunch (that covered about 48.3 km. in the first hour of racing). Halfway through the race, some 20 riders managed to break away at last, but all they could put into the field was no more than 51”. Among the escapees was 19-year-old Aussie David Kemp, of the AIS-Mapei squad, the only english-speaking team attending the race, and fielding Ryan Sullivan, James Meadley, Richard Moffatt, David Kemp, Nicolas Sanderson, James Hannam, Jonathon Clarke.
Two hours into the race, the average speed had only slightly diminished: 47.850 km/h. The above mentioned group was brought back some 10 kms. later, but then new attempts came and, also thanks to a route featuring insidious turn, a new break formed, consisting of 17 (but soon later they were 23, as six more guys joined the party) riders, and among them another young Aussie, 19-year-old Richard Moffat, last year a junior, this year showing his talent in the U23 scene.
Inside the breakaway group were also future winner Grillo and two of his main rivals, 25-year-old Giacomo Vinoni, a fastman belonging in the Viris Lomellina Vigevano team, and teammate Massimo Boglia. With 20k, to go, there was a split in the breakaway group, with only 8 riders left in the lead, including Moffat, Italy’s Luigi Scalmana (winner of another amateur race in the same area 4 days before) and Roland Pickler (both riding with the Edile Rosa Carni Gaverina outfit) and Massimo Boglia. Unfortunately for those guys, the main bunch nullified their attempt with less than 5 km. to go, when the race was getting back to Vigevano.
Just under the red triangle of the last km., 22-year-old Russian Denis Tyschenko (Mixed Team Team Fidibc-GS Ghia) tried to surprise the peloton and launched a wicked attack in pure Tchmil style. He almost succeeded, but all of his hopes were dashed as he was caught with less than 100 metres to the line.
So it all came down to a blanket finish, with one of the red hot favorites, Grillo, living up to expectations and pipping two more Italian sprinters, Roberto Ferrari and Samuele Marzoli, to the line. Ukraine’s Roman Luhovyy, not yet capable of winning any race in the first part of the 2003 season, snatched fourth place ahead of Vinoni. Mattia Gavazzi, son of Pierino, a well-known sprinter of the 80s, got just outside the top 10. James Meadley was the best-placed Australian.
The bunch sprint. Paride Grillo, in orange colors, is at the
center of the image
Results – Top 25 places:
1. Paride Grillo (Ita - Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - 173 kms. in 03h49,03" (45.318 km/h)
2. Roberto Ferrari (Ita - L'Edile Rosa Carni) - s.t.
3. Samuele Marzoli (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
4. Roman Luhovyy (Ukr - GS Vezza Brunero Boeris) - s.t.
5. Giacomo Vinoni (Ita - GSC Viris Vigevano-Eurothermo) - s.t.
6. Enrico Rossi (Ita - Mixed Team Scrigno-Pragma) - s.t.
7. Gabriele Bosisio (Ita - Team Aurora Named) - s.t.
8. Borut Bozic (Slo - Team Cycling Kopstal Sidi-Luxembourg) - s.t.
9. Daniele Callegari (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
10. Aleksander Efimkin (Rus - Mixed Team Scrigno-Pragma) - s.t.
11. Mattia Gavazzi (Ita - Irsea Resine Ragnoli Rifra) - s.t.
12. Diego Vailati Facchini (Ita - Ceramiche Pagnoncelli ) - s.t.
13. Francesco Buonerate (Ita - Marchiol Famila Site Team 2000) - s.t.
14. Vladimir Smirnov (Lit - Team Cycling Kopstal Sidi-Luxembourg) - s.t.
15. Vitalij Samsonov (Rus - Team Cycling Kopstal Sidi-Luxembourg) - s.t.
16. Vladyslav Prygunov (Ukr - GS Colombina Montichiari) - s.t.
17. Alexandr Zhanov (Rus - Russian National Team) - s.t.
18. Enrico Turina (Ita - GS Cicli Preda) - s.t.
19. Walter Aceti (Ita - Team Aurora Named) - s.t.
20. Matej Stare (Slo - Team Cycling Kopstal Sidi-Luxembourg) - s.t.
21. Denys Tischenko (Rus - Mixed Team - GS Ghia Distribuzioni) - s.t.
22. Marco Corsini (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
23. Stefano Boggia (Ita - GS Vezza Brunero Boeris) - s.t.
24. James Meadley (Aus - Australian National Team) - s.t.
25. Gian Mario Rovaletti (Ita - Mixed Team-GSC Viris Lomellina) - s.t.
... 62. David Kemp (Aus - Australian National Team) - s.t.
68. James Hannam (Aus - Australian National Team) - s.t.
94. Richard Moffatt (Aus - Australian National Team) - s.t.
Starters: 147. Finishers: 105
Full Image Gallery of the race to come in the next days!