Elia Vivani sprints to a second straight GP Costa degli Etruschi victory
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Elia Vivani sprints to a second straight GP Costa degli Etruschi victory

by Ben Atkins at 11:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Doneratico race shortened by snow as Arctic conditions sweep Europe

elia vivianiElia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) successfully defended his title in the GP Costa degli Etruschi, in Doneratico, on the Tuscan coast, on a course shortened by snow. The 22-year-old track specialist outsprinted Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) to take his second victory of the season by more than a bike length, with Filippo Baggio (Utensilnord-Named) in third.

Thanks to highly unusual weather conditions, which saw snow and freezing conditions on the Etruscan coast, the race was shortened to 169km. Dspite the arctic temperatures causing Italian media outlets like cicloweb.it to rename the finish town “DonerArctico”, Federico Rocchetti (UtensilNord-Named), Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli) were still game; the three riders escaped the shivering peloton after just 15km and set about building what they hoped would be a winning margin.

After just 70km, with just under 100km to go, the adventurous trio led a typically apathetic Italian peloton by eleven minutes, before the sprinters’ teams decided that the time had come to pull them back.

In the course of the next 80km, the stronger teams in the peloton steadily shipped away at its massive deficit until, with 20km to go, the trio held a slim 1’28”, and it looked to be all over.

11km from the finish, with little more than one of the five finishing circuits to complete, the gap was down to just 20 seconds; just two kilometres later Rocchetti and Ricci Bitti surrendered, leaving just De Marchi up the road alone.

The single Androni Giocattoli rider was no match for the baying peloton though, and, with 7km to go, it was all over for him and the sprint was on.

Lampre-ISD led the peloton into the final kilometre, to try to deliver Alessandro Petacchi a sixth victory in the race. The Ale-Jet found himself swamped by the rest in the fight for the line though, as Viviani took a straightforward second victory.

Result 17th GP Costa degli Etruschi
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
2. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
3. Filippo Baggio (Ita) Utensilnord-Named
4. Giorgio Brambilla (Ita) Leopard Trek Continental
5. Maximilian Richeze (Arg) Team Nippo
6. Marco Frapporti (Ita) Team Idea
7. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Krisztian Lovassy (Hun) Hungarian National Team
9. Enrico Rossi (Ita) Meridiana-Kamen
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet


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