The 34th "Giro d'Italia Under 26" UCI 2.6-sanctioned race ended in a "photofinish", although nothing changed in the final stage. At the end of the closing stage, a 111-km. flat circuit in the streets of Rieti. Pagnoncelli's Marco Marzano maintained his one-second advantage over Venetian Alessandro Bertuola, and that was enough for him to become overall winner of the event.
In fact Bertuola had a shot at taking the bonus seconds he needed to recapture the lead at the very last moment, and even tried to stay on the wheels of well-known fastman Mattia Gavazzi in the sprint (that came after a last-kilometre attack by Aussie Gene Bates was pulled back), but the orange-clad boys of Pagnoncelli always kept an eye on him, and the efforts from the Ima Brugnotto team leader, who is not the young gun version of Alessandro Petacchi, proved pointless. Gavazzi took the stage from two southern emisphere sprinters, Australian Aaron Kemps and Argentina's Ariel Richeze, and scored his seventh win so far this season, while the 23-year-old from the outskirts of Milan could get the most prestigious success of his career as an amateur, even if his palmares can boast also two overall victories in a race like the Giro della Valle D'Aosta. Accomplishments that might help Marco Marzano find a place in the pro ranks in the (near) future.
But certainly worthy of praise are also the excellents performances by the same Bertuola. The man from Treviso, whose pre-Giro tally totalled no more than a couple wins in a seven-year career in the amateur cycling scene, came close to achieve his greatest ever results on the bike, and only a single, mere, damn second after 1392 kms. of racing kept him from that. "To lose the race by a mere second is a hard blow for sure, but I can say that I'm satisfied with my overall result anyway, and that I'll be looking for redemption in the upcoming Italian Nationals" Bertuola told the press in post-race interviews. The Baby Giro is not new to such small gaps, as last year's race ended in a similar fashion, with Lithuanian Dainus Kairelis edging out Italy's Paolo Bailetti by just three seconds.
As for the same Kairelis, he was one of the protagonists of this edition too, although despite a couple stage wins he couldn't make the Top 5 overall. Other riders worthy of mention are Italian mountain goat Domenico Pozzovivo and fellow countryman Micula de Matteis, third and fourth place finisher respectively, and Irishman Philip Deignan plus his Velo Club la Pomme teammate (and mountain stage winner) Humbert Dupont of France, time trial sensation Michele Maccanti, as well as Marco Bertoletti and Bruno Bertolini who, just like Mattia Gavazzi, are younger brothers of better-known pro riders, and were stage winners in this contest. Aussies Kemps and Bates put in some excellent performances too, but missed stage victory by a whisker. No doubt we'll find again many of these names, albeit in the "pro" cycling scene, in years to come.
Stage 10 (Rieti-Rieti, 111 km.): Top 10 Places
1. Mattia Gavazzi (Ita - GS Resine Ragnoli) - 02h23’26” (46.432 kph)
2. Aaron Kemps (Aus - Australian Nat. Team) - s.t.
3. Ariel Richeze (Arg - VC Bassano 1892-Elca Seca) - s.t.
4. Paride Grillo (Ita - VC Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - s.t.
5. Eugenio Loria (Ita - GS Bedogni Natalini Famá) - s.t.
6. Bruno Bertolini (Ita - Ima Moro Brugnotto Zottarelli) - s.t.
7. Davide Toretella (Ita - GS Zalf Desirée-Fior) - s.t.
8. Donato Cannone (Ita - Futura Team Matricardi) - s.t.
9. Paolo Capponcelli (Ita - VC Italfine Podenzano) - s.t.
10. Gianluca Massano (Ita - Camel Brunero Boeris) - s.t.
34th Giro d’Italia Under 26 - Final GC: Top 10 Places
1. Marco Marzano (Ita - VC Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) in 33h04’56”
2. Alessandro Bertuola (Ita - Ima Moro Brugnotto Zottarelli) - at 01”
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita - GS Zalf Desirče-Fior) - at 01’41”
4. Micula De Matteis (Ita - GS Bottoli Artoni-Zoccorinese) - at 02’01”
5. Riccardo Riccň (Ita - GC Fausto Coppi-Grassi) - at 03’18”
6. Paolo Bailetti (Ita - Camel Brunero Boeris) - at 03’51”
7. Dainius Kairelis (Lit - Cyber Team Faresin) - at 04’08”
8. Hrvoje Miholjevic (Cro - Promociclo) - at 04’27”
9. Alexandr Sabalin (Rus - VC La Pomme Marseille) - at 04’43
10. Denis Shkarpeta (Uzb - VC Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - at 05’13”
Points - Final GC (Top 3 Places)
1. Dainius Kairelis (Lit - Cyber Team Faresin) - 38 Points
2. Marco Marzano (Ita - VC Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - 35 Points
3. Hubert Dupont (Fra - VC La Pomme Marseille) - 27 Points
Mountains - Final GC (Top 3 Places)
1. Orviz Mario De Sarraga (Spa- Calz. Montegranaro-Marini) - 49 Points
2. Gianluca Coletta (Ita - GC Fausto Coppi-Grassi) - 35 Points
3. Marco Marzano (Ita - VC Ceramiche Pagnoncelli) - 27 Points
Hot Spot Sprints - Final GC (Top 3 Places)
1. Domenico Loria (Ita - GS Bedogni Natalini Famá) - 33 Points
2. Eugenio Loria (Ita - GS Bedogni Natalini Famá) - 18 Points
3. Matteo Priamo (Ita - Marchiol Famila Site) - 9 Points
34th Giro d’Italia Under 26 on the”Daily Peloton" - Links
* Stage 1 Results & Report
* Stage 2 Results & Report
* Stages 3, 4 & 5 Results & Report
* Stage 6 Results & Report
* Stage 7 Results & Report
* Stage 8 Results & Report
* Stage 9 Results & Report