Rigoberto Urán escapes a late break to take a solo Gran Piemonte victory
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rigoberto Urán escapes a late break to take a solo Gran Piemonte victory

by Ben Atkins at 3:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Colombian Olympic silver medallist attacks on cobbled finale to take second victory of the season

rigoberto uranRigoberto Urán (Team Sky) escaped a late breakaway group in the finale of the Gran Piemonte to take a solo victory at the end of the 188km Italian semi-classic. The Colombian Olympic silver medallist attacked his companion Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the final 300 metres of the race, and managed to hold off a late charge from a fast finishing Luca Paolini (Katusha) all the way to the line.

“I’m very happy with the win today and I felt really good during the race,” said Urán afterwards. “Along with Sergio [Henao] we tried to attack on the final lap before the finish. I was able to get away with Verdugo over the top of the climb but we did not have a big gap to the riders behind. We managed to stay clear and we gave it everything on the descent back to the finish.
 
“I have come out of the Vuelta with some really good fitness,” he added. “The World Championships was some good preparation looking ahead towards Lombardy and today was also another really good warm-up. I really like the race and I and very motivated for Saturday.”

The long break of the day came from the trio of Matthew Lloyd (Lampre-ISD), Carlos Quintero (Colombia-Coldeportes) and Oleg Berdos (Utensilnord-Named), who escaped in the early kilometres and managed to open up a lead in excess of seven minutes before the peloton reacted.

The three riders were steadily closed down however, and as the race passed through the finish town of Biella, with just over 30km to go, they were caught. On the first of the two 16.9km finishing circuits, based on the steep climb to Favaro, the counter attacks began, and a powerful move from Paolini pulled a group clear.

With the Italian were Urán and Henao (both Team Sky), Verdugo, Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) and Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing), and they were able to open a decisive gap over the chasing pack.

With teammate Henao in the lead group, Urán was able to escape with Verdugo and the two of them managed to get several seconds clear. On the cobbled finish Paolini jumped clear of the others, and was bearing down on the two leaders, so Urán attacked and managed to hold off the Katusha rider on the cobbled finishing straight.

“I was with Verdugo and we agreed to collaborate until 500 metres to go,” explained Urán. “We saw that Paolini was coming towards us and he’s very fast; so at 300 metres to go, when I saw him getting closer, I sprinted.

“This is my second victory of the season after a stage at the Tour of Catalunya.”

Paolini managed to overtake Urtasun on his way to the line, but couldn’t catch the Colombian and had to settle for second place.

"I'm quite satisfied with my performance,” said the Italian. “I missed the win and I'm a little disappointed about that, but I took a good result and my shape is quite brilliant. That's a very good thing, because Katusha Team aims to a great result in the Giro di Lombardia, the last Monument classic race of the season.

“In the end I thought I had good chances to win in the final sprint, but Uran did a great jump,” he added. “We tried to chase him, but he was already too far. So, I decided to fight for the second position and I managed to take it.”

Result 2012 Gran Piemonte
1. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Team Sky
2. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team @ 6s
3. Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 7s
4. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky @ 11s
5. Carlos Betancur (Col) Acqua & Sapone
6. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team @ 27s
8. Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
10. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Team

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