Saturday, August 16, 2014

GP Capodarco: Power goes 3 of 3

For those that are going to be lining up at the Tour de l'Avenir, they are going to have their eyes fixed on the white, green and yellow kit of first year U23 Robert Power. Someone is going to have to come out of left field because just looking at the last couple of weeks, Power has been putting out some serious powwwwaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Sorry. Moving on. Today was the GP Capodarco, one of the best Italian amateur races of the year and seemingly always a great race. The race dates back to the 1970s as has a list of winners that includes Davide Bramati (OPQS director), Wladimir Belli, Fabio Casartelli, Moises Aldape, Marco Bandiera (Lampre), Peter Kennaugh (SKY), Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani), Matteo Cattaneo (Lampre) and Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni). The course itself those is the big draw, at least for me. Going through the old town of Capodarco, a hamlet of Fermo just minutes from the Adriatic coast in Marche, the race takes in a brutal ramp right before the finish line. With an old finishing town, a very steep wall and rural charm, it ticks all the boxes for a great Italian one-day. In that regard, it is very similar to the GP San Giuseppe, which is also in Marche.

The 180 kilometer race started off quickly with a few breakaways trying to get away before ascending the Capodarco "wall" for the first for 8 times. A breakaway of 5 got away and on the first wall, a group bridged up to them including Alessandro Tonelli (Zalf) and Pan-Am Champion Fernando Gaviria (Colombia). The breakaway was kept in close check and riders were coming to and fro but after 80 kilometers, everything was back together. A breakaway with more firepower was soon established and included Tonelli and teammate Gianni Moscon, Giulio Ciccone (Colpack), Andrea Vaccher (Marchiol) and 3 Colombians including Gaviria. A few more riders bridged including Diego Brasi (Pala Fenice) bridged and the 17 rider breakaway was finally pulling some time out of the Australian National Team-led peloton.

The group served as a carrot for the Australians, who were one of just a few team that missed the breakaway. The gap hovered around 1'30" for most of the time while there was a chase group of 6 with Giacomo Berlato (Zalf) and Davide Orrico (Colpack) dangled in between. Once the race hit 2 laps to go (roughly 30 kilometers), the heat was on. The breakaway, now just 14 men, only had 30 seconds but by the time they hit the wall for the 2nd to last time, the breakaway imploded and the remnants of the breakaway were joined by pair of green and yellow streaks..

After the penultimate trip up the wall, a group of 8 leaders had formed. Jack Haig and Robert Power (Australia) had bridged up to Tonelli, Moscon, Ciccone, Vaccher, Moreno Giampaolo (Vega-Hot Sand) and Albanian Karmelo Halilaj (Team Named). During the final lap, the group kept a very slim lead on the chasing group. On the climb up to the wall, Jack Haig just started to drill it for Power. The breakaway proceeded to come to piece with Moscon being the only one to keep on terms with the two Australians at the base of the wall.

Once Haig pulled off, Power turned on the jets. Moscon held on for the first few millimeters before Power just flew away up the cobbled climb, dancing on the pedals while his upper body rocked to try and get as much power through to the wheels. Once the climb leveled onto the final straight, Power  hit the afterburners. In Capodarco tradition, Power raised his hands in victory and confetti was shot off and rained down on the young Australian.

Get used to this pose because it could be happening for a long time coming.
Photo: Italiaciclismo
Gianni Moscon, who put up a valiant effort after being in the day long breakaway, came in 8 seconds down in second while Moreno Giampaolo finished strong in 3rd ahead of Haig, Ciccone and Gennaro Giustino.

I don't know of a more fitting surname for an explosive rider than Power but for the 3rd time in 10 days, Robert Power put on a display of force that many others, pro or amateur, wouldn't be able to match. He showed his short-term power with explosive efforts in both Briga Novarese and here in Capodarco but showed off his breakaway power with his 30km solo effort at Poggiana. Those that have to go against Power at l'Avenir, you have been warned. Take a deep breath and prepare for a searing sensation across your body that may last for many hours.

Results - GP Capodarco
  1. Robert Power (Australia)
  2. Gianni Moscon (Zalf-Euromobil) +8"
  3. Moreno Giampaolo (Vega-Hot Sand) +13"
  4. Jack Haig (Australia)
  5. Giulio Ciccone (Colpack)
  6. Gennaro Giustino (Delio Gallino Colosio Eurofeed)
  7. Emanuel Buchmann (Germany) +28"
  8. Alessandro Tonelli (Zalf-Euromobil) +32"
  9. Andrea Vaccher (Marchiol)
  10. Marco Bernardinetti (Malmantile)

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