Sonny Colbrelli takes his first victory with the European Champion jersey as he sprints to win at the Memorial Marco Pantani in Cesenatico, Italy.
This year’s edition featured a traditional course of 196km from Castrocaro Terme Terra del Sole to Cesenatico. The Montevecchio circuit with a 5km climb (average slope of 6-8%) to be covered three times, and the Cesenatico 5km circuit, to repeat four times, represented the critical parts of the race.
After the day’s breakaway was resumed with about 40km to go, a group composed of about 12 riders, including Sonny Colbrelli, formed at the front. At 169km, a dozen other riders joined them, and the Italian Champion could enjoy the support of two teammates Hermann Pernsteiner and Stevie Williams. Both worked hard to keep a high rhythm in the final circuit in Cesenatico, which made it more challenging due to the rain.
Our riders also controlled a late attack of Zana with 2km to go, and everything was set for a final sprint. As a favourite, Sonny Colbrelli didn’t miss this chance to shine with his European Champion jersey and outsprinted Albanese (Eolo-Kometa) and Aramburu (Astana-Premiertech), taking the win at Memorial Pantani for the second time.
Sonny Colbrelli: “When you ride as a favourite, it’s always complicated. It’s not easy to manage to win, but in the end, I succeeded, and I’m very pleased as it’s a special race, in honour of a beloved champion of cycling. I must admit it was harder than I thought. It was important to take this victory after finished Coppa Sabatini as a runner-up. Now my morale is high ahead of a massive important race as the Worlds”.
Alberto Volpi, SD Bahrain Victorious: “The race unfolded as we expected. Our boys worked well and as planned. Then Sonny finalised the job with a perfect sprint. He was feeling better than on the previous races in Tuscany. He’s keeping on his good momentum both physical and mental”.
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