Monday, October 5, 2015

Piccolo Giro di Lombardia: Colpack Smackdown

It might be October but Team Colpack decided to sucker punch the peloton in Lombardia by taking the Piccolo Giro di Lombardia by the throat and dominating the race. At one point late in the race, it almost looked like it could have a been a 1-2-3 podium sweep.

It was a race that was held under gloomy conditions with rain happening for the majority of the race. A breakaway group including 3 Colpack riders in Giulio Ciccone, Seid Lizde and Fausto Masnada, Stefano Nardelli (Unieuro-Wilier), Ivan Garcia Cortina (AWT-Greenway), among others got away near the middle of the race . Lizde broke away on a descent and got a substantial gap on the chasing group. The time trial specialist was doing fairly well on the hills but behind, his teammate Ciccone and Masnada broke away from the chasers on one of the many hills and accelerated away.

Ciccone and Masnada were trading pulls fairly equally up until they caught and passed their teammate and sacrificial lamb Lizde. After this, Ciccone was clearly the stronger rider and looked like he could have ridden away from Masnada many times on the steep pitches. While Ciccone was breathing easy, Masnada was bracing for death and grimacing as if nails were being pounded into his quads.

While the Colpack duo were ahead, Martijn Tusveld (Rabobank Devo) was chasing behind and riding quite well. The Dutchman was taking time from the Italians but nearing the finish, he slid out on a descent and deflated his chasing efforts. Just before the line, Lennard Hofstede joined his teammate.

In the final straightaway, Ciccone and Masnada rode in easy and with the team car just behind them, Ciccone gifted the win to Masnada, who is seemingly one of the only Italian U23s that doesn't have a contract secured for next season. Tusveld beat out Hofstede for 3rd while Petilli broke up the Rabobank Devo party by coming in 5th ahead of Jan Maas. The chasing peloton was led in by Rabobank Devo's Jeroen Meijers and included such names as Edward Ravasi and Laurens De Plus.

The Italian season is reaching the finale with just a handful of races left before the bikes get put away for a few weeks.

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