Grega Bole claimed another great result for CCC Sprandi Polkowice. After a bunch sprint he finished 2nd on stage 1a of Settimana Coppi e Bartali.
I had some small problems with changing the gear in the finale. Because of that I lost some speed. When I set the right gear Belletti began his sprint. I followed him, started closing the gap, I got close, but it was too late to overtake him. I want to thank all my teammates who were superb today. They stayed in the front almost all stage and in the end Bartłomiej Matysiak did a great job in helping me position myself for the sprint – Grega Bole said afterwards.
The short (100km), morning stage kicked off with establishing an early 5-man breakaway, which quickly gained 3 minute lead. It involved Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni), Ildar Arslanov (RusVelo), Davide Ballerini (UniEuro Wilier), Bruno Maltar (Meridiana Kamen) and Matthias Krizek (FelberMayr). They extended their advantage to almost 5 minutes but on the top of the first climb of the day, Sogliano al Rubicone, it went down to 1:38.
On the next ascent, to Torre di Massamanente, the peloton led by CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Sky reduced the gap even more. The bunch was catching the escapees one by one and the last one to get reeled in was Zilioli, who tried a solo move.
Due to high pace in the group, in the final 25 kilometers, there were no late attacks. The stage was decided in a sprint finish. CCC Sprandi Polkowice set up an “orange train” with 2 km to go for Grega Bole. The Slovenian was very close from claiming first win of the season but was outsprinted by Manuel Belletti (Southeast). For Bole it was his fifth top 5 place this season, after taking 3rd on two occasions in Ruta del Sol and 5th on the last day of that race, and 5th in GP Nobili Rubinetterie.
Results of stage 1a Settimana Coppi e Bartali, Gatteo – Gatteo, 99,5km
1. Manuel Belletti (Southeast)
2. Grega Bole (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
3. Patrick Clausen (Trefor Blue Water)
32. Bartłomiej Matysiak (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
46. Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
48. Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
67. Tomasz Kiendyś (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
70. Jarosław Marycz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
71. Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
124. Christian Delle Stelle (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) 4:44