Podium finish for Viviani at GP Beghelli

01 Oct 2017

Podium finish for Viviani at GP Beghelli

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Elia Viviani sprinted to third after an exciting edition of GP Beghelli, but was denied a shot at victory by solo winner Luis Leon Sanchez.

Viviani infiltrated the key selection inside the final 10 kilometres but the group allowed Sanchez to slip away, and the Astana man forged clear to win by six seconds from Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida).

Viviani rolled in alongside Colbrelli at the end of a testing 196km to take third, but it could all have been very different. With the peloton stretched to breaking point on the final climb, the lack of organisation behind Sanchez put paid to a traditional bunch finish.

The racing had been relentless on the punchy 13km city circuit around Monteveglio and Team Sky were always well placed. Both Lukasz Wisniowski and Salvatore Puccio did a fine job of keeping Viviani up the front, while Danny van Poppel closed down a number of dangerous attacks.

It was Puccio who set the pace heading into the final climb but then the attacks started to fire. Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott) launched the decisive move but impressively Viviani was able to follow.

Then, unfortunately, nobody was able to follow Sanchez’s well-timed attack out front. A brief lack of organisation in the group was all the Spaniard needed to stay away.

Speaking to TeamSky.com after the race, Sport Director Dario Cioni was full of praise for Viviani's ride as he talked through the day.

He said: "There was only four small teams in the early break so obviously there were lots of teams who then wanted to open up the race. Only a few had a sprinter too, so that made the last 60km very aggressive.

"We knew Elia had good legs. He’s coming off a good period - he was ready for the world championships just one week ago, and you don’t lose that condition in a week. We knew he could be good. It’s probably the first time he’s survived this race in such a small group.

"He was a in a really good position going into the final and the team had done a great job to get him there. It’s just too bad that at the end there Luis Leon put in one of his typical, really good moves, and if you don’t close straight away on him he’s hard to catch."

Looking ahead, Cioni and the team already have next Saturday’s Il Lombardia in their mind. The preparations ramp up with Tuesday’s Tre Valli Varesine.

He added: “Today was the last sprinter-friendly race. Tre Valli is pretty hard. Now the focus is much more on getting ready for Il Lombardia. That’s the big focus for this week. Along the way we have two races where we will try to be in the mix for the win, but the big goal is to be ready 100% for Saturday.”

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