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Italian National Championships - Elite Men Road Race Live
By Fabio
Date: 6/26/2005
Italian National Championships - Elite Men Road Race Live

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 95th Italian National Championships, the Settimana Tricolore, held in the central Italian region of Abruzzo this time. After no less than nine races, involving riders from five different classes, tokk place Tuesday through Saturday, the Tricolor Week comes to end today with the main event: the Elite Men Road Race. 150 riders from several different teams are ready to battle it out in order to get the coveted red, white and green jersey. The race, both starting and finishing at the town of Montesilvano near Pescara, runs over a distance of 259 km., starting with four laps of a bigger circuit of about 33.9, followed by a eight laps of a "major" circuit covering 15.5 km. With two difficulties: Montesilvano Colle (3 kms at an average gradient of 5-6%), to be climbed a dozen times, and the Spoltore ascent, (3 km; gradient: 5%) which riders have to take in "only" four times. Totalling no less than 48 km.of uphill riding.

Courtesy Settimana Tricolore.

1530 CEST - After a minute's silence for Alessio Galletti, 150 riders took the start at 10:35 AM local time (CEST). The peloton stayed together throughout the first hour of racing. Mariano Giallorenzo (Selle Italia-Colombia) launched the first attack after 35 km, followed by another "minor" rider, Francesco Cipolletta (Ceramica Flaminia). Both guys were immediately pulled back into the bunch anyway, and we had a gruppo compatto until Andrea Rinaldini of the Japan-based Team Nippo made the next move at km. 61. The race entered its third hour with Rinaldini leading the bunch by 20-25 seconds, and with the not very impressive average speed of 32.700 kph. More lesser-known athletes tried to get some exposure, as Daniele Migliorati (Ceramica Flaminia) and Alessandro D'Andrea (Acqua & Sapone-Adria Mobil) rolled off the front of the peloton and stayed away for a short time. But the race was together again by km. 67, and five kilometres later, after all riders caught up in a massive pileup at km. 70 could regain the bunch.

The move he made early in the race wasn't enough to Selle Italia's Giallorenzo, who attacked again (and this is no surprise; and Italian race with Selle Italia attending wouldn't be the same without the Gianni Savio boys on the attack close to all the time). As he crossed the line at Montesilvano for the third time, Giallorenzo was leading Alessandro Bertuola (Naturino-Sapore di Mare) and Stefano Guerrini (Ceramica Flaminia) by 07", with the stretched peloton three-four seconds behind them.

Giallorenzo sat up and was caught by the pack, while things took a different turn for the Bertuola-Guerrini pair: the leading duo opened a significant gap, extending their advantage on the chasing (?) peloton, led by Paolo Bettini's #1 domestique, 2004 World Champion bronze medallist Luca Paolini (not working for his team leader this time though, simply because The Cricket is not in the bunch today) to 03'45" by the km. 120 check.

1545 CEST - Bertuola and Guerrinì's lead stayed the same (more or less) over the next 20-30 kilometres, then finally the peloton, led by Gilberto Simoni's Lampre-Caffitta teammates (Gibo is one of the main suspects to clinch the title today, and get his first ever victory at the Italian Nationals) as well as other squads like "home team" Acqua & Sapone-Adria Mobil (riding in their home region Abruzzo, so obvioulsy eager to do well), put in some kind of serious chasing efforts and started shrinking the gap, which dropped to a mere two minutes by km. 169, and 01'30" three kilometres later, with 87k to go.

1555 CEST Reigning champion Christian Moreni (Quick Step) hasn't made any moves so far, but remains one of today's red hot favoriti: should the man successfully defend his title, it would be the first time since the Angelo Podenzana days (1993-1994) that an Elite rider wins two Italian Raod Race titles in a row. Roads of the recent Tour of Switzerland (which saw him at the front of the bunch many a good times, riding tempo for his team leader Michael Rogers when the Aussie was in yellow), told us that the man from Mantua currently has good legs, so that a "second time" in white, red and green wouldn't be much of surprise after all. Let's just wait and see how things turn out ...

1605 CEST With about 80k left, Bertuola dropped Guerrini and went on a solo lead, but their breakaway was doomed. And after another pileup took place in the bunch (involving, among others, Gabriele Balducci of the Acqua & Sapone team, who consequently had to pull out of the race. Other riders joining the list of DNFers were Paolini, Petito and Frattini) Guerrini was reeled in by km. 199, while Naturino's Alessandro Bertuola still held an advantage of some fifty seconds.

1610 CEST Some updates from other nations, to start with Norway: Thor Hushovd, winner of last wednesday's ITT, lost his "status" of national road race champion, as the 200-km. contest in the Scandinavian country was won by Morten Christiansen of the continental Team Sparebanken Vest, ahead of Andreas Sans and Morten Hegreberg. The nation's best-known cycilst didn't get higher than fifth instead. If that was quite a of a surprise, the result of the Kazakh race, hald at Almaty, wasn't: the nation's chamipin is no less than T-Mobile' Alexandre Vinokourov.

1620 CEST : Bertuola was caught, but his teammate Sergio Marinangeli counter-attacked at km. 205 (with 47k to go, as the parcours covers 252 km. instead of 259!), and was later joined by ... a teammate of Stefano Guerrini, so that we had a new Naturino-Flaminia duo in the lead: Maurizio Varini and Sergio Marinageli. And leading a chasing quartet (Marco Marcato, Ivan De Gaspari, Gianluca Bortolami, Manuele Spadi) by 25" with 38 km. to go, with the peloton a further dozen seconds behind.

1623 CEST Paolo Bossoni (Fassa) and Alessandro Bertolini (Domina) attacked the fieled, caught and dropped the four chasers mentioned before, and are about to join Marinangeli and Varini. On the other hand, Gilberto Simoni lost contact to the bunch.

1628 CEST Both the leading pair and the Bossoni-Bertolini duo are working well together. Varini and Marinangeli lead their closest pursuers by 25", but also the bunch (currently led by veteran Gianluca Bortolami) is riding hard now. Gibo Simoni is losing more time in the meantime, he's out of contention for the win.

BIG, BIG SURPRISE IN GERMANY !! The brand new national champion is a teenager! GERAL CIODEK (who?) of the Akud team beat all big names of the bunch and clinched the title! results were:

1. Gerald Ciolek (Akud Arnolds Sicherheit) - s.t.
2. Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner) - s.t.
3. Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) - s.t.
4. Sebastian Siedler (Team Wiesenhof) - s.t.
5. Lars Teutenberg (Team Sparkasse) - s.t.

1635 CEST Bossoni and Bertolini were caught by the pack, while Marinangeli and Varini hold a lead of 35". Gianluca Bortolami retired from the race. A new pile-up took place, involving, among others, Rinaldo Nocentini and Saunier Duval's Manuel Quinziato; they'll have a hard time regaining the fast-riding bunch, now with Salvatore Commesso and Filippo Pozzato and a few Fassas at the front.

1640 CEST Sergio Marinangeli and Maurizio Varini were chased down. It's gruppo compatto again!

1641 CEST More skirmishes in the peloton, that's now breaking into pieces, with some 15 riders taking a few metres out of the rest on a downhill section. The situation is very fluid.

1643 CEST Other champs update: if Lampre's not going to celebrate and victory by Gilberto Simoni today, they can take some solace in Gerrit Glomser winning the Austrian National Road Title at Altendorf.

1644 CEST About 50 riders in the (front) bunch in Italy instead, with about 20 km remaining, and Fassa's Vincenzo "Shark of the Strait" Nibali showing some very good legs. Moreni and Dario David Cioni are also there, even if off the back of the bunch.

1646 CEST An attack from Eddy Ratti (Team Nippo), followed by Valerio Agnoli of the super-combative team Naturino. They couldn't stay away for more than a minute though.

1648 CEST News from Switzerland: Martin Elmiger is the national champion: the man beat teammate Alexandre Moos in a great 1-2 for Phonak, with Marcel Strauss (Gerolsteiner) as the other podium finisher.

1649 CEST One lap (as in 15.2 km.) to go in Italy, with some 30-40 riders now in the leading bunch. Alesandro Spezialetti, riding on the home roads of his Abruzzo, took a few metres out of the others. Oscar Mason mistook a turn and fell, at the worst possible time. Five riders attacked the field and are now trying to close down the gap to Alessandro Spezialetti.

1652 CEST Moreni, Mori, Bosisio, Ratti and Caucchioli caught Spezialetti, but the Fassa-led pack is on the heels of this newly-former front group, as they hit the last climb of the race.

1654 CEST Cristian Moreni soloed away in the uphill section, with just Saunier Duval's Manuele Mori trying to follow his wheels! A perfectly time attach by the Quick Step rider.

1655 CEST Cristian Moreni now leads a first chasing bunch, with Massimo Giunti up front (and Pellizotti, Mazzoleni, Pinotti, Commesso as well as young Paolo Bailetti inside) by about twenty seconds.

1656 CEST Cristian Moreni caught by the first chasing group (mainly courtesy of Lampre's Mazzoleni) on the last slopes of this race, with about 10k to go. Panaria's Baliani is also part of the new front group of about a dozen riders.

1659 CEST NEWS FROM SPAIN: Juanma Gárate (Saunier Duval-Prodir) is the brand new Spanish champion as he pipped Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears) to the line in a two-man sprint. More details later!

1701 CEST More and more skirmishes in Italy, with nine riders (Moreni, Giunti, Mazzoleni, Mori, Bailetti, Pellizotti, Baliani, Commesso and Pinotti) in the front group, but some 20 guys (Creadit Agricole's Bellotti and Cuacchioli included) not far from them, with half a dozen kilometres left.

1702 CEST Leon Van Bon (Rabobank) clinched the Dutch National title - for the second time - at Rotterdam.

1704 CEST : Gruppo Compatto in Italy! Some 30 riders at the front with less than 5k to go, and no more difficulties on the menu.

A late attack by Pinotti and Mazzoleni with 3k to go! But they were chsed down about 500m later. Then comes a new attack, courtesy of Christian Murro of Tenax. Another vain attempt.

1707 CEST Moreni is now working for Pippo Pozzato. 1k to go. Gruppo Compatto again, and some Quick Step guys at the front.

Here comes the 30-man sprint, and the winner is ...

... a NEO-PRO!!! Enrico Gasparotto of Liquigas-Bianchi!! Pippo Pozzato in second. Fassaman Massimo Giunti third.

Enrico Gasparotto, born on September 22, 1982 at Sacile (same town as Dennis Zanette) in the north-eastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, may be a new name in the pro cycling ranks, but is a strong sprinter for sure. And he had a superb sprint today. He launched his sprint with 200m to the line, taking Pozzato and the other contenders by surprise, and held onto his lead in the last metres, to clinch his second victory of the season after a Volta a Catalunya stage a few weeks ago. And after other top results on Spanish, Austrian (UNIQA Classic), Italian (Tour of Trentino) and French (Criterium International, Dauphiné Liberé) soil.

1725 CEST: More national champ updates: while Gasparotto surprised many in Italy, Adam Wadecki clinched the national title in Poland, ahead of Marcin Gębka and Polish-Canadian Piotr Mazur. Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile) won the Russian race, covering 176.9 km., from Vladimir Gusev and Andreï Ptchelkin instead. Next stop: France. Pierrick Fédrigo (Bouygues Telecom) will be wearing the white, red and blue jersey after being first across the line of the end of the Boulogne-sur-Mer circuit race, ahead of Laurent Brochard and Nicolas Jalabert.

Italian Nationals: Elite Men Road Race: Top 10 Places
1. Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas-Bianchi)
2. Filippo Pozzato (Quick Step)
3. Massimo Giunti (Fassa Bortolo)
4. Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
5. Mirko Celestino (Domina Vancanze)
6. Sergio Marinangeli (Naturino-Sapore di Mare)
7. Raffaele Ferrara (Team Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi)
8. Francesco Bellotti (Crédit Agricole)
9. Paolo Bailetti (Team Androni Giocattoli-3C Casalinghi)
10. Giampaolo Cheula (Team Barloword)

All in the same time.

Italian Nationals - Elite Men Road Race: Palmares

  • 1906: Giovanni Cuniolo
  • 1907: Giovanni Cuniolo
  • 1908: Giovanni Cuniolo
  • 1909: Dario Beni
  • 1910: Emilio Petiva
  • 1911: Dario Beni
  • 1913: Costante Girardengo
  • 1914: Costante Girardengo
  • 1919: Costante Girardengo
  • 1920: Costante Girardengo
  • 1921: Costante Girardengo
  • 1922: Costante Girardengo
  • 1923: Costante Girardengo
  • 1924: Costante Girardengo
  • 1925: Costante Girardengo
  • 1926: Alfredo Binda
  • 1927: Alfredo Binda
  • 1928: Alfredo Binda
  • 1929: Alfredo Binda
  • 1930: Learco Guerra
  • 1931: Learco Guerra
  • 1932: Learco Guerra
  • 1933: Learco Guerra
  • 1934: Learco Guerra
  • 1935: Gino Bartali
  • 1936: Giuseppe Olmo
  • 1937: Gino Bartali
  • 1938: Olimpio Bazzi
  • 1939: Mario Vicini
  • 1940: Gino Bartali
  • 1941: Adolfo Leoni
  • 1942: Fausto Coppi
  • 1943: Mario Ricci
  • 1945: Severino Canavesi
  • 1946: Aldo Ronconi
  • 1947: Fausto Coppi
  • 1948: Vito Ortelli
  • 1949: Fausto Coppi
  • 1950: Antonio Bevilacqua
  • 1951: Fiorenzo Magni
  • 1952: Gino Bartali
  • 1953: Fiorenzo Magni
  • 1954: Fiorenzo Magni
  • 1955: Fausto Coppi
  • 1956: Giorgio Albani
  • 1957: Ercole Baldini
  • 1958: Ercole Baldini
  • 1959: Diego Ronchini
  • 1960: Ninio Defilippis
  • 1961: Arturo Sabbadin
  • 1962: Nino Defilippis
  • 1963: Bruno Mealli
  • 1964: Guido De Rosso
  • 1965: Michele Dancelli
  • 1966: Michele Dancelli
  • 1967: Franco Balmamion
  • 1968: Felice Gimondi
  • 1969: Vittorio Adorni
  • 1970: Franco Bitossi
  • 1971: Franco Bitossi
  • 1972: Felice Gimondi
  • 1973: Enrico Paolini
  • 1974: Enrico Paolini
  • 1975: Francesco Moser
  • 1976: Franco Bitossi
  • 1977: Enrico Paolini
  • 1978: Piero Gavazzi
  • 1979: Francesco Moser
  • 1980: Giuseppe Saronni
  • 1981: Francesco Moser
  • 1982: Piero Gavazzi
  • 1983: Moreno Argentin
  • 1984: Vittorio Algeri
  • 1985: Claudio Corti
  • 1986: Claudio Corti
  • 1987: Bruno Leali
  • 1988: Piero Gavazzi
  • 1989: Moreno Argentin
  • 1990: Angelo Furlan
  • 1991: Gianni Bugno
  • 1992: Marco Giovannetti
  • 1993: Angelo Podenzana
  • 1994: Angelo Podenzana
  • 1995: Gianni Bugno
  • 1996: Mario Cipollini
  • 1997: Gianni Faresin
  • 1998: Andrea Tafi
  • 1999: Salvatore Commesso
  • 2000: Michele Bartoli
  • 2001: Daniele Nardello
  • 2002: Salvatore Commesso
  • 2003: Paolo Bettini
  • 2004: Cristian Moreni
  • 2005: Enrico Gasparotto

More results, details and interviews from the Settimana Tricolore's final event coming. As well as news and results from the other national champs. Thanks for reading, and see ya later!

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