A gregario for Coppa Agostoni!
hours after Danilo Di Luca just missed out on winning the Tre Valli Varesine
race, Team Saeco took an impressive victory in the Coppa Agostoni with hard
worker Leonardo Bertagnolli scoring his second win of the season with an
impressive late attack.
One of the most respected gregarios in the peloton, Bertagnolli's chance came
about after he was given the task of chasing down the early breakaway. Popovych,
and Simeoni (no prizes for guessing that he would be in the action again) had
made the early break and Bertagnolli, riding for Cunego, led the chase down. The
Trentino-born rider, who won his first ever professional race at the Giro
dell'Etna in the spring, then joined the decisive break that formed 80km from
the finish of the race. He then took advantage of some impressive team tactics
directed by Giuseppe Martinelli, going on the attack while his rivals closely
marked Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego, who again showed he is on form and
ready for the final part of the season.
Bertagnolli was part of the final selection of six riders, Frigo, Bayarri,
Sgambelluri, Faresin, Vila and Gentili, but knowing he was not the fastest
finisher, he made a clever counter attack a kilometer from the line that allowed
him to cross the line alone, 50 metres ahead of second-placed Dario Frigo.
Bertagnolli wins in Etna.
incredibly happy to have won. I've taken a traditionally important race and I'm
really proud," Bertagnolli said. "The Saeco team put their faith in me and I
think Ive paid them back in the best possible way. I hope I can keep riding well
so that I can get some other good results and perhaps be considered for the
Italian team for the World Championships in Verona."
Meanwhile Dario Frigo, who has been absent from the peloton for most of the
year, had mixed feelings on his race – “My season has been totally compromised
from a blood infection that has been completely debilitating and has forced me
into long months of inactivity. I wanted to go to the Vuelta with a victory
under my belt, but today I was not strong enough to chase down the attack of
Bertagnolli. However, next year I will ride in the Fassa Bortolo shirt again".
Coppa Agostoni Results
1. Leonardo Bertagnolli (ITA, Team Saeco) 196,8 km in 4h39'24" (42,3 km/h)
2. Dario Frigo (ITA, Fassa Bortolo) à 4 sec.
3. Gonzalo Bayarri (ESP, Phonak) m.t.
4. Roberto Sgambelluri (ITA, Vini Caldirola-Nobili) m.t.
5. Francisco Vila (ESP, Lampre) m.t.
6. Gianni Faresin (ITA, Gerolsteiner) m.t.
7. Massimiliano Gentili (ITA, Domina Vacanze) m.t.
8. Paolo Valoti (ITA, Domina Vacanze) à 48 sec.
9. Paolo Lanfranchi (ITA, Panaria-Margres) m.t.
10. Mauro Gerosa (ITA, Vini Caldirola-Nobili) m.t.
Leonardo Bertagnolli Palmares
Rank UCI: 228
1 (Giro dell'Etna, Coppa Agostoni);
2 GP Chiasso;
5 Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi & Bartali;
1 (Circuito di Broni);
3 GP Schwarzwald;
4 2nd stage Giro del Trentino;
4 Giro del Trentino;
4 10th stage Giro d'Italia;
5 Bank Austria Tour;
5 Klasika Primavera;
2 Giro del Medio Brenta;
2 GP Schwarzald.