Is it the "Lombard Week" or the "Dutch Week"? A legitimate question, at least if you look at the top results of Wednesday's rain-lashed opening stage (Brignano-Gera D'Adda-Brignano, 153.5 km) of the 36th Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda "open" race, with professional and Elite-2 & U23 riders contending alike.
The first of five legs this event consists of became private property of Holland's Under 23 athlete Tom Stamsnijder - aged 21 - of the Rabobank Continental Team, whose legs proved the quickest in the small bunch sprint that decided the stage, as he easily pipped his two breakaway companions (and pro riders) to the line: fellow countryman Stefan Cohnen (Naturino-Sapore di Mare) as well as Latvia's Drasutis Stundzia (Amore & Vita-Mc Donald's) had to settle for the other top three places only. The trio dared to attack a bigger front group of about 40 riders (among whom were five more "MiniRabos") about 15 km. from the finish, and held off the oncoming chase group, led home by Germany's Robert Wagner (Team Milram). Needless to say, Stamsnijder is also the first wearer of the overall leader's yellow and red mantle.
The Lombard Week, in fact running entirely on the outskirts of Bergamo, Brescia and their respective provinces, continues tomorrow with another sprinter's stage, starting and finishing at the small town of Brusaporto, while the "queen stage" is expected to be Saturday's leg around the Brescian hamlet of Roncadelle.
Tom Stamsnijder. Photo Courtesy Rabobank.
Stage 1 Results - Top 3 Places
1. Tom Stamsnijder (Hol - Rabobank #Continental Team)
2. Stefan Cohnen (Hol - Naturino-Sapore di Mare) - s.t.
3. Drasutis Stundzia (Lit - Amore & Vita-McDonald's) - s.t.