Coppi e Bartali: Stosz in the break, Antunes still in contention

Patryk Stosz slipped into the day’s main breakaway on the hardest stage of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, while Amaro Antunes kept his chances of overall success alive.

Info: Stage 2, March 23rd, Riccione- Sogliano al Rubicone, 130km

Course: hilly (Ville di Monte Tiffy tackled 3 times, avg. 7%, max. 16%)

It was a short, but intense and hard stage, with hilly circuit in the final part of the race. CCC Sprandi Polkowice made sure to approach the most decisive stretch as fresh as possible, by sending Patryk Stosz into the breakaway, to avoid working at the head of the peloton. The Polish squad left chasing for other teams and could save energy riding inside of the group.

Stosz was going hard in the 6-man escape, but the peloton didn’t let his group gain too much ground. The gap was hovering at 2:15.

When the break was tackling Ville di Monte Tiffy for the first time, Stosz lost contact with the leaders, who crested the top with 1 minute lead over the chasing bunch. The second ascent saw lots of attacks from the field, which resulted in catching the breakaway and splitting the main group. 35 riders entered final 30km of racing in the lead – among them there was Amaro Antunes.

Final climb shattered the pack even more and new 7-man group emerged in the front. They maintained their gap all the way to the finish and Bauke Mollema (Trek- Segafredo) was the fastest in that company. He defeated Diego Rosa (Team Sky) and Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF).

Amaro Antunes finished the stage in 29th place, 1:28 back, putting himself in good position ahead of Sunday’s time trial. He now sits in 17th place, 1:42 behind the leader, Diego Rosa (Team Sky).