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Young Guns: A World Champion in his last day ...
By Fabio
Date: 10/22/2003
Young Guns: A World Champion in his last day ...

Trofeo Comune di Ferrera Erbognone - Lagutin and team-mates steal the show: Besides professional road cycling, also the Under 23 & Elite 2 season is coming to end in Europe. And the “last day of school” on Italian soil was Tuesday, when the race traditionally closing the road cycling period took place in the hamlet of Ferrera Erbognone, in the Pavia province of Lombardy.

The 36th “Trofeo Comune di Ferrera Erbognone” lived up to its most recent tradition, as just like in 2001 (when the race was won by Ukraine’s Sergyi Adveyev, now a pro at Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) and 2002 (whose results, reports and pics are available in this link ) it turned out to be a kind of “Team Championships” for the Zoccorinese-Vellutex-Palazzago-Caneva powerhouse, with riders of the Seregno-based squad dominating the race. And even if they didn’t take all Top 6 places the way they did last year, they managed to score a great 1-2, and only an excellent performance from sprinter Daniele Di Nucci (of the Tuscany-based Maltinti Solgomma team) prevented them from turning the podium into their own “private property” again.

First across the line, at the end of a 120-km. long, flat parcours (consisting of 5 laps of a 24-km. circuit) was a Sicilian rider, Domenico Agosta, a very young (20) gun born in Palermo and currently living in Northern Italy. Agosta, which successfully combines road racing with being a student at Milano University, is a very promising rider, but considering his young age, we will hardly see the man competing in the pro ranks in a short time.

Giario Ermeti. He’s going to move to professional cycling (LBK-Colnago team) in 2004.

We’ll certainly have the chance to see Tuesday’s “silver medalist”, Giario Ermeti, in the professional cycling scene since next year instead. The 22-year-old from the Italian city of Piacenza is going to follow in the footsteps of many other riders (Yaroslav Popovych being the best-known one) and cross the bridge from Zoccorinese to its “pro cycling counterpart”, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago.

Ermeti is not the “lone ranger” though: another young gun is set to make his debut at LBK-Colnago in the coming season, and it’s no less than the reigning Under 23 World Road Champion, Sergey Lagutin. Less than a dozen days after clinching the World Title in Hamilton, and taking the name of his homeland Uzbekistan back into cycling maps a decade after legendary sprinter Djamolidine Abdujaparov used to make the headlines (“Abdu” also known as “The Tashkent Terror” was well-known for his hotly contested sprints, the rivalry with Mario Cipollini, and even the spectacular and dramatic accident he suffered on the Champs, during the last metres of the 1995 Tour de France), Lagutin continued his winning ways into some late season races, such as last Sunday’s GP del Rosso, a Tuscan contest he added to his palmares, and the “Trofeo Ferrera Erbognone” .

Under 23 World Road Champion Sergey Lagutin of Uzbekistan

In his very last day as Under 23 rider, the Zoccorinese-Palazzago-Caneva leader was a protagonist again. He did his best to make his mark on the race, first by getting into a break, and later as he went on a solo attack. But neither luck (Lagutin had a flat and some mechanical probs) nor the strength of his team-mates were on his side, such that in the end the World Champion just had a Top 10 finish. While on paper it was Lagutin’s day, on the road Tuesday became the day of Agosta and Ermeti.

After a first breakaway featuring another talent of Zoccorinese-Caneva’s immense contingent, Marco Baro, as well as combative Marco Barbato of the local team Garlaschese Eurothermo, a leading group of about a dozen riders formed, containing several Zoccorineses, as well as a few members of the Viris Vigevano team, led by their fastman Giacomo Vinoni, and some more riders.

Ermeti and Agosta on the attack. Their move was the good one

Then the “Sergey Lagutin show” began and the man attacked, but after Lady Luck turned her back on the Uzbek, it was time for “Plan B”: his team-mates Ermeti and Agosta broke clear and quickly opened a significative gap, with just another rider of the same team, Maurizio Biondo, and the aforementioned Daniele Di Nucci following.

Daniele Di Nucci (L) on his chasing efforts. Maurizio Biondo is on his wheels.

While the two front-runners were working well together, obviously their team-mate Biondo was not giving any help to Di Nucci in his chaing effort. Under such circumstances, it was easy for Ermeti and Agosta to keep the lead, and even put more time into the chasers. They extended their advantage to more than 2 minutes. And after 120 kms. of racing the contest ended in a two-man sprint … which actually was no sprint at all: both guys raised their hands in triumph, and Agosta’s legs simply were the first to get across the line.

Agosta and Ermeti raise their hands in triumph.

It was the third win of the season (coming after two victories in as many Sicilian circuits) for the man, who in post-race interviews said that “It has been my lucky day. Our team plans were to start the fireworks since early in the race. And so we did. We also had to work for Lagutin, but when he had mechanical probs, Ermeti and I came into play. And everything turned out well. In the final straight Ermeti told me to go, and I did. I owe him a lot, and shall repay him soon”. The winner was also congratulated by the same Lagutin: “I’m happy for Agosta. He’s a generous and promising rider”.

Race winner Domenico Agosta of the Palazzago-Caneva team

Besides the top two finishers, Daniele Di Nucci got proper reward for his efforts as he outsprinted Biondo for third place. The Maltinti fastman couldn’t add a new success to the impressive string of wins he had a few months ago, in early season races, but sounded satisfied with his new podium placing.

Fabrizio Pellegrino (Viris Vigevano-Eurothermo) takes fifth

In a contest marked by several abandons, a few riders of Viris Vigevano-Eurothermo (best amateur squad in the Pavia area) did all they could to match Agosta and Lagutin’s “wünderteam”. And in the end they scored a fifth place finish (courtesy of Fabrizio Pellegrino) and a seventh placing (Giacomo Vinoni). Vinoni himself admitted that the attack from Ermeti and Agosta took him by surprise, but nevertheless he was happy with Tuesday’s result, which seals an excellent season that saw him five times as race winner. Paolo Tomaselli of Zoccorinese was the only rider able to hit the Top 10 for the second straight year.

The Podium: Giario Ermeti (L), Domenico Agosta (C), Daniele Di Nucci(R)

36th Trofeo Comune di Ferrera Erbognone (120 km.)

1. Domenico Agosta (Ita - Palazzago Caneva) - 02h40’00” (45.00 km/h)
2. Giairo Ermeti (Ita - Palazzago-Caneva) - s.t.
3. Daniele Di Nucci (Ita - Maltinti-Solgomma Empoli) - at 02’18”
4. Maurizio Biondo (Ita - Palazzago-Caneva) - s.t.
5. Fabrizio Pellegrino (Ita - Viris Vigevano-Eurothermo) - at 03’02”
6. Davide Viganò (Ita - Zoccorinese-Vellutex) - at 03’15”
7. Giacomo Vinoni (Ita - Viris Vigevano) - s.t.
8. Paolo Tomaselli (Ita - Zoccorinese-Vellutex) - s.t.
9. Sergey Lagutin (Uzb - Palazzago-Caneva) - s.t.
10. Daniele Antoniazzi (Ita - U.C. Bagnatica)

Team Rankings: Winner - Palazzago Caneva.

Clad in Rainbow Colors, World Champion Sergey Lagutin posed for pics with fans … of all ages!

Regardless of the race results and dynamics, the real “super-star” of the race, the man whose name was on the lips of all fans (although sometimes he was mistakenly referred to as “the Russian”), was undoubtedly the World Champion. And the behaviour of Mr. Lagutin, always smiling and available to pose for a picture with anyone, as well as the combative attitude the boy from Fergana displayed throughout the race, definitely helped the man to endear himself to many fans.

One more image of smiling Lagutin

Besides the above pics, for the first time the “Daily Peloton” provides a brand new service: a clip of the Ferrera Erbognone race. Although unfortunately the clip is brief, and the image quality poor (our apologies for that), you can see Domenico Agosta and Giario Ermeti crossing the finish line. Just click here to get access to the video (Windows Media format).

All Images Copyright © Fabio & Daily Peloton

Trofeo Acquanegra sul Chiese: It was the “last day of school” also in another Lombard town, Acquanegra sul Chiese, in the Mantua province, in arace that saw another strong amateur team score an impressive 1-2.

But this time it was a solo win, as Aristide Ratti of Bottoli Artoni won the eleventh “Trofeo Comune di Acquanegra sul Chiese” with a thirty-second advantage over the chasing bunch, led home by his team-mate Davide Callegarin. Ratti made the winning move in the last part of the race, when he rode away of a 12-strong breakaway group that formed halfway through the competition, after a crash previously split the 63-strong field.

Mauro Colombera of the Veneto-based Bici Team San Doná secured the remaining podium spot, while Bottoli Artoni got another rider in the all-Italian Top 10. It was also the last race as an amateur for fifth place finisher Emanuele Sella (GS Zalf Desiré Fior), who will be a professional rider in 2004.

11th Trofeo Comune di Acquanegra sul Chiese - Top 10

1. Aristide Ratti (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) (48.189 km/h)
2. Davide Callegarin (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni ) - at 30”
3. Mauro Colombera (Ita - Bici Team San Donà) - s.t.
4. Roberto Ferrari (Ita - Edile Rosa Carni) - s.t.
5. Emanuele Sella (Ita - GS Zalf Desiré Fior) - s.t.
6. Alessandro Cassolato (Ita - US Fausto Coppi Gazzera) - s.t.
7. Francesco Reda (Ita - Cicli Cinzia) - s.t.
8. Stefano Bonini (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni) - s.t.
9. Gianluca Geremia (Ita - GS Zalf Desiré Fior) - s.t.
10. Francesco Nadalutti (Ita - Bici Team San Donà) - s.t.
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