Russia's Dmitri Dementiev solos to the line at Corvino San
One week ago, he came close to clinch the Russian National Title in the Men's Road Race, as he was caught and dropped by Alexandre Bejanov in the very final part of the competition. But after that disappointment, this Sunday was redemption time for 25-year-old Dmitri Dementiev, the strong rider of the Italfine-Podenzano powerhouse, who dominated the 32th “Freccia dei Vini” UCI-1.6 sanctioned race, covering 183 km. between Vigevano and Corvino San Quirico, and featuring a very demanding second half in the Oltrepo Pavese hills of Northern Italy. It was such a difficult race that only 20 riders, out of 92 starters, managed to get to the finishing line.
Besides Dementiev, other riders belonging to some Italy’s best amateur teams (GS Bottoli-Artoni, Ceramiche Pagnoncelli, the Piedmont-based Vezza Brunero Boeris) were among the main protagonists of this competition, organized by Viris Eurothermo Vigevano and the GS Orga Sport teams. Vezza Brunero’s Alessandro Del Fatti, fourth place getter two years ago, improved his placing up to second this time, but missed victory again. Maybe next year will be the good one.
Bottoli Artoni’s Aristide Ratti, one of Italy’s most talented and most in-form U23 riders, filled the remaining podium spot as he came in more than 3 minutes behind the winner and edged out Dementiev’s team-mate Massimiliano Maisto.
A silver medallist in the Elite-2 Road Race at the Italian Nationals less than a dozen days ago, when he was caught and dropped by team-mate Antonio D’Aniello in the very last km, Maisto took a small revenge on Sunday, as he beat the same D’Aniello (who snatched fifth) by 07”. The Podenzano-Italfine boys dominated the GC with 3 riders in the Top 5 places, while the GS Ceramiche Pagnoncelli got three guys in the Top 8 spots, with Paolo Bailetti (second overall in the recent Baby Giro) taking sixth, right ahead of Francesco Tizza, who couldn't repeat the podium he got last year in this same race.
Italy's National Elite-2 Champion Antonio D'Aniello, who placed
fifth this time, at the startline in Vigevano.
The first, flat half of the contest saw several skirmishes come, with sprinters like Giacomo Vinoni as protagonists. Not having any chance to cross the line first in such a hilly second half, the Viris Eurothermo fastman opted for giving it all in the early part, and went on a solo break soon after the flag was dropped, taking all three Intermediate Sprints in the Vigevano city circuit, bringing some good prizes home.
The peloton regrouped as the race left Vigevano, but more and more attacks came on the flat roads of the Pavia province, with the bunch splitting in two first, and subsequently an 11-man break forming after four riders (Viris Eurothermo's Massimo Boglia and Antonio Marotti plus Team Aurora's Simone Molteni and Fabio Negri) attacked and were soon joined by seven more contenders. The escapees held on as they hit the hills of Oltrepó Pavese, with Marotti winning the first KOM Prime, and Alessandro Raisoni (Garlaschese) being the first at the Top of the famous "Muro di Donelasco" (1 steep km.with a gradient going up to 20%).
But at the beginning of the fourth ascent of the day (Pietra de' Giorgi) the peloton regrouped again, just to see eight more riders attack on the following slopes: the mighty Italfine-Podenzano trio consisting of D'Aniello, Maisto and future winner Dementiev plus orange-clad Bailetti and Marzano of Pagnoncelli, Vezza's Del Fatti, and the Bottoli-Artoni duo made up of Ratti and Cortinovis broke clear, and all of them finished in the top 10 places.
After the last KOM prime of the day (won by Maisto) at Oliva Gessi, two riders made their wining move: Dementiev and Del Fatti rode away from the rest of the leading bunch, and none proved able to counter. But it was no day for a two-man sprint, such that in the second of three laps of the final circuit, the Russian dropped his breakaway companion and soloed to vicitory, just two days after he got back to Italy from his own country.
It was the first victory so far this season for Dementiev, who dedicated it to his teammates D'Aniello and Maisto.
The podium: Alessandro Del Fatti (L), red-jerseyed winner Dmitri
Dementiev (C) and Bottoli Artoni's 21-year-old Aristide Ratti (R)
32nd Freccia dei Vini - Memorial Dott. Luigi Raffele - Results:
1. Dmitri Dementiev (Rus - GS Podenzano Italfine) - 04h35'08" (39.908 km/h)
2. Alessandro Del Fatti (Ita – GS Vezza Brunero-Boeris) - at 01'48"
3. Aristide Ratti (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - at 03'08"
4. Massimiliano Maisto (Ita - GS Podenzano Italfine) - s.t.
5. Antonio D’Aniello (Ita - GS Podenzano Italfine) - at 03'15"
6. Paolo Bailetti (Ita - Ceramiche Pagnoncelli-FMB-Ferrer) - at 03'44"
7. Francesco Tizza (Ita - Ceramiche Pagnoncelli-FMB-Ferrer) - at 04'02"
8. Marco Marzano (Ita - Ceramiche Pagnoncelli-FMB-Ferrer) - at 05'44"
9. Luca Giuseppini (Ita – Mixed Team Juvenes Sterilton) - at 06'06"
10. Giovanni Cortinovis (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - at 06'16"
11. Stefano Boggia (Ita - GS Vezza Brunero-Boeris) - at 07'22"
12. Paolo Montanari (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - at 08'41"
13. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
14. Johann Jauk (Aut – Team Icet Stilneon Trimed) - at 10'22"
15. Cristiano Fumagalli (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - at 13’10"
16. Erik Bochicchio (Ita – Cittá del Ciclismo) - s.t.
17. Fabio Negri (Ita – Team Aurora Named Concorezzo) - s.t.
18. Luca Roveglia (Ita – GS Pragma Scrigno) - s.t.
19. Micula De Matteis (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
20. Davide Riccio (Ita – Velo Sport Rho) - at 13'30"
Starters 92. Finishers 20.
Freccia dei Vini – Full Palmares:
1972 Giovanni Battaglin (Ita - Jolly Ceramica)
1973 Gianfranco Pala (Ita – Baggio Gaverina)
1974 Giuseppe Martinelli (Ita - Europack)
1975 Gabriele Landoni (Ita - Itla)
1976 Vittorio Algeri (Ita - Itla)
1977 Dino Porrini (Ita – Lema Mobili) (*)
1978 Luigi Gritti (Ita – System Holz)
1979 Emanuele Bombini (Ita – System Holz)
1980 Juan Arroyo (Ven - Venezuela)
1981 Fabrizio Verza (Ita – Ital-Tessari)
1982 Tullio Cortinovis (Ita - Novartiplast)
1983 Tullio Cortinovis (Ita - Novartiplast)
1984 Stefano Bizzoni (Ita - Novartiplast)
1985 Giuseppe Calcaterra (Ita - Legnanese)
1986 Johnny Carera (Col - Gloria)
1987 Valerio Tebaldi (Ita - Remac)
1988 Sergio Carcano (Ita - Gloria)
1989 Stefano Cortinovis (Ita - Remac)
1990 Mauro Consonni (Ita - Diana)
1991 Massimo Maestri (Ita - Domus)
1992 Massimo Donati (Ita - Cuoril)
1993 Rosario Fina (Ita - Cosmos)
1994 Marco Bellini (Ita - Brunero)
1995 Walter Pedroni (Ita – Addax)
1996 Simone Mori (Ita – MBM Rosa)
1997 Ellis Rastelli (Ita - Sintofarm)
1998 Alessandro Volpe (Ita - Pagnoncelli)
1999 Eddy Ratti (Ita - Podenzano)
2000 Andrei Moukhine (Rus – Viris Vigevano)
2001 Damiano Giannini (Ita - Pagnoncelli)
2002 Santo Anzá (Ita – Zoccorinese-Vellutex)
2003 Dmitri Dementiev (Rus – Italfine-Podenzano)
(*) = American George Mount, who finished third in 1977, has been the only English-speaking rider so far able to hit the “Freccia dei Vini” podium
Full gallery to follow within a few days.