Dani Moreno outsprints the break for Gran Piemonte victory
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dani Moreno outsprints the break for Gran Piemonte victory

by Ben Atkins at 10:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Race Reports and Results
Vuelta stage winner the best of a fourteen-man group; outsprints Van Avermaet and own teammate Paolini

Dani MorenoDaniel Moreno (Katusha) was the best of a fourteen-man group that contested the sprint at the end of the Gran Piemonte, between Piasco and Novi Ligure. The 30-year-old Spaniard, who already has victories in the Vuelta a Burgos and Vuelta a España to his name in the second half of this season, finished more than a length clear of Paris-Tour winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), who beat Moreno’s teammate Luca Paolini in the race for second.

"The intention was for Paolini to win,” explained Moreni at the finish, instead there was space for me to attack and it went well.

“It's the first time that I have won in Italy and winning an Italian classic is a dream come true,” the Katusha rider continued, “especially if you think that the previous champion was [Omega Pharma-Lotto’s Philippe] Gilbert.”

Having taken victory in the first of the two big northern Italian autumn Classics, Moreno’s team is squarely aiming at the other, il Lombardia, in just two day’s time. With a new course, finishing in Lecco, it is not certain what will happen in the race, but the Spanish rider feels that his team is equipped to win it either way.

“Lombardia: we now want to win,” said Moreno. “Katusha can do with either Paolini or [Joaquim] Rodriguez, depending on how the race goes. The last climb, Villa Vergano, may not be decisive, because then there is a steady descent to the finish, with the possibility of recovery."

The fourteen men had originally been part of a 31-strong group that escaped the peloton after 85 of the 203km. Missing from the group was Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert, the winner of the two previous editions, and World champion Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad), who threw in the towel early on.

A fast start sees the World champion in the early action

Giovanni Bernaudeau and Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo Bank-SunGard) were the first to try to escape in the early kilometres, but the two were unable to stay away for long under the fast pace of the peloton. After just 15km a group of 27 riders broke clear, including World champion Cavendish, but the peloton responded immediately and pulled them back.

The first hour of the race was ridden at an average of 51.4km, which proved too much for Cavendish, who abandoned after 69km.

After 85km the break of the day finally went, and was made up of Moreno, Paolini and Rodriguez (all Katusha), Van Avermaet, Mathias Frank, Martin Kohler, Steve Morabito and Ivan Santaromita (all BMC Racing),

Jurgen Van de Walle (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Guillaume Bonnafond, Nicolas Roche and Matteo Montaguti (all AG2R La Mondiale), Vincent Jerome, Alexandre Pichot and Thomas Voeckler (all Europcar), Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Pierpaolo De Negri and Leonardo Giordani (Farnese Vini-Neri), Daniele Colli (Geox-TMC), Vitaliy Buts and Przemyslaw Niemiec (both Lampre-ISD), Daniele Bennati and Oliver Zaugg (both Leopard Trek), Vincenzo Nibali and Alan Marangoni (both Liquigas-Cannondale), Andre Steensen and Manuele Boaro (both Saxo Bank-SunGard), and Thomas Lövkvist and Michael Rogers (both Team Sky).

Alessandro Donati and Francesco Di Paolo (Acqua & Sapone) both managed to chase across to the big group at the 124km point, making a total of 31 up front. A seven-man group, made up of Stefano Pirazzi and Filippo Savini (both Colnago-CSF Inox), Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Neri), Fabio Felline and Maurizio Gorato and David Gutierrez (all Geox-TMC), and Daniel Lloyd (Garmin-Cervélo) was not so lucky though.

The race is over for the peloton and the break begins to split

With 75km to go the leading group of 31 led the seven chasers by 4’31”, and the peloton by 7’35”. It was still theoretically possible for the peloton to pull the break back at this point, but with so many of the top teams represented up front, its race was effectively over. The chase group continued to make progress on the leaders however and, with 30km to go, trailed by just 2’25”, but this was when the action was to begin up ahead.

Pressure from Löfkvist in the later climbs of the course split the group, taking Katusha trio Moreno, Paolini and Rodriguez, Van Avermaet, with BMC Racing teammates Frank and Santaromita, Leopard Trek duo Bennati and Zaugg, Roche, Voeckler, Niemiec, Nibali and Steensen with him.

This was to be the group that was to fight out the victory and, as they traversed the winding streets of Novi Ligure, the Katusha riders began to exploit their numerical advantage.

Over the top of the small climb with just a kilometre to go, Moreno prepared to lead out superior sprinter Paolini, but the Italian looked at the sprint quality around him and decided to change his plans.

"Paolini left a gap to Moreno on the last descent to the finish," explained Van Avermaet. "Nibali tried to close the gap and with 400 meters to go I went full out, but couldn't close the gap to him anymore."

For Paolini the tactic was simple: "Moreno put himself on the front to lead out the sprint,” he explained, “but I knew I had Van Avermaet on my wheel and I feared him. So I tried a trick: I let a gap open and pulled aside, Van Avermaet and Nibali were caught out and had no time to close it.

“I’m in a period of good form, I‘m only missing a victory,” he added. “However, if I do not win, I’m able to help my teammates win: at the GP Beghelli with [Filippo] Pozzato, here with Moreno, and in Lombardia I’ll try to do it for Rodriguez."


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Gran Piemonte, Italy (1.HC) Results: Piasco to Novi Ligure (199 km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
esp ESP 1 Daniel Moreno Fernandéz (Katusha) 04:45:16
bel BEL 2 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 3 Luca Paolini (Katusha) s.t.
fra FRA 4 Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) s.t.
irl IRL 5 Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 00:00:02
pol POL 6 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 7 Daniele Bennati (LEOPARD - TREK) s.t.
den DEN 8 Andre Steensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA 9 Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
swe SWE 10 Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) s.t.
sui SUI 11 Oliver Zaugg (LEOPARD - TREK) s.t.
sui SUI 12 Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) 00:00:34
ita ITA 13 Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing) 00:00:48
esp ESP 14 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha) 00:00:58
ita ITA 15 Leonardo Giordani (Farnese Vini-Neri-Sottoli) 00:02:05
ita ITA 16 Daniele Colli (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:02:11
ukr UKR 17 Vitaliy Buts (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ned NED 18 Pierre Deen (WTC De Amstel) s.t.
ita ITA 19 Alessandro Donati (Acqua E Sapone) s.t.
esp ESP 20 Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel - Euskadi) s.t.
fra FRA 21 Vincent Jerome (Europcar) s.t.
fra FRA 22 Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 23 Alexandre Pichot (Europcar) s.t.
ita ITA 24 Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
bel BEL 25 Jurgen Van De Walle (Omega Pharma-Lotto ) s.t.
aus AUS 26 Michael Rogers (Team Sky) s.t.
ita ITA 27 Alan Marangoni (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:02:15
sui SUI 28 Martin Kohler (BMC Racing) 00:08:37
ita ITA 29 Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA 30 Francesco Di Paolo (Acqua E Sapone) s.t.
esp ESP 31 David Gutiérrez Gutiérrez (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:09:39
ita ITA 32 Fabio Felline (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
ita ITA 33 Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Neri-Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA 34 Maurizio Gorato (Geox-TMC Transformers) 00:09:43
ita ITA 35 Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
gbr GBR 36 Daniel Lloyd (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ita ITA 37 Filippo Savini (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
usa USA 38 Daniel Summerhill (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:18:53
rus RUS 39 Petr Ignatenko (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA 40 Luca Solari (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ita ITA 41 Omar Bertazzo (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ita ITA 42 Simone Masciarelli (Acqua E Sapone) s.t.
rus RUS 43 Arkimedes Arguelyes Rodriges (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA 44 Alessandro Bertolini (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ita ITA 45 Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
fra FRA 46 Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA 47 Marco Corti (Geox-TMC Transformers) s.t.
ita ITA 48 Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ger GER 49 Dominik Nerz (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
fra FRA 50 Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA 51 Paolo Longho Borghini (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ukr UKR 52 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Lampre-ISD) s.t.

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