A win at last! Just like Michele Bartoli in yesterday's Giro del Lazio, another Italian rider was back to the top of the podium after quite a long Time. Putting a end to an impressive string of placings (including his second spots at Hew Cyclassic Cup in Hamburg and Coppa Placci in San Marino), Gerolsteiner's DAVIDE REBELLIN has won on Sunday afternoon the 58th "GP Industria & Commercio" in the Tuscan city of Prato, near Florence, repeating the success he had in 2001.
The 32-year-old won a small bunch sprint ahead of Bo Hamburger, Oscar Camenzind, Francesco Casagrande (once more missing victory in this "home race", in spite of his solo break attempt with 3k to go, but the same Rebellin countered it), Paolo Lanfranchi and Massimo Giunti. But Rebellin, the first to make his move, about 100 km. into the race (on the fifth of eleven ascents of the Carmignano climb) pipped them all to the line, and sent a clear message to Italy's national Coach: Franco Ballerini will have to take into consideration the possiblity of finding a place for him too in the Squadra Azzurra for the Hamilton Worlds.
Although in post-race interviews the same National Team Manager, who was on the spot watching the race, sounded like he already made his decisions, definitve ones, and very likely not good ones for today's winner. And probably not for Bartoli either. Don't be surprised if both of this weekend's heroes have to watch the Hamilton race on TV.
Back to the Prato GP, now. Capturing his third success so far this year was no easy task for Rebellin, who had a flat with a little more than 10k to go, and consequently lost some 30". But Davide's legs, and his motivation, were good enough for him to regain the leading bunch and sprint to victory.
With Lady Luck finally smiling at him in this case, as he benefitted from a mistake by Bo Hamburger, who raised his arms in triumph a bit too early and consequently lost. Not the first time such things happen in cycling, and certainly not the last one.
As for the rest of the peloton, riders like Borghi, Bossoni and Spain's Javier Pascual tried to bridge the gap to the leading sextet, but their chasing efforts came too late and weren't successful. And as for Bartoli, the Tour of Latium winner pulled out the race at the 130 km. mark. "The Warrior" was just one of the 113 riders, out of 134 starters, that did not finish a contest featured by a though parcours.
58th GP Industria e Commercio Prato (200 km.) - Full Results:
1. Davide Rebellin (Ita - Gerolsteiner) - 04h41'46" (42.58 km/h)
2. Bo Hamburger (Den - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - s.t.
3. Oscar Camenzind (Swi - Phonak H.S.) - s.t.
4. Massimo Giunti (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
5. Francesco Casagrande (Ita - Lampre) - s.t.
6. Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita - Panaria-Fiordo) - s.t.
7. Ruggero Borghi (Ita - Mercatone Uno-Scanavino) - at 03'50"
8. Paolo Bossoni (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Saunier Duval) - s.t.
9. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa - iBanesto.com) - at 03'54"
10. Marcus Zberg (Swi - Gerolsteiner) - at 04'16"
11. Alexandre Moos (Swi - Phonak) - s.t.
12. Leonardo Giordani (Ita - De Nardi-Colpak) - s.t.
13. Lorenzo Cardellini (Ita - Domina Vacanze-Elitron) - s.t.
14. Piotr Przydzial (Pol - CCC-Polsat) - s.t.
15. Denis Menchov (Rus - Ibanesto.com) - s.t.
16. Kjell Carlström (Fin - Amore&Vita-Beretta) a 6’23”
17. Daniel Schnider (Swi - Phonak H.S.) - s.t.
18. Serhiy Avdyeyev (Ukr - Landobouwkrediet-Colnago) - s.t.
19. Gerhard Trampusch (Aut - Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
20. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol - Mercatone Uno-Scanavino) - s.t.
21. Maximilian Sciandri (GBR - Lampre) - s.t.
Starters: 134. Finishers: 21