Lopez wins in Torino, hard day for “riders in orange”

Miguel Angel Lopez won Milano-Torino, which is considered by many the last test before Il Lombardia. Jan Hirt was CCC Sprandi Polkowice top finisher.

There were only two ascents on the route from Milano to Torino, but they were both located in the finale. It was expected that they will whittle down the group drastically. The latter was going to be the decisive one, as it was 5-kilometers long and very steep (max. 14%, avg. 9%). Typical climbers were mentioned among the favorites.

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Eduard Grosu (NIPPO – Fantini) and Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) went away early and established the escape of the day. They worked their advantage up to 11 minutes, but the peloton did their math and with 34km to go, before the final two climbs, the gap was down to 4 minutes. CCC Sprandi Polkowice contributed to the chase, as the 8-man roster for this race included some climbers – Victor de la Parte, Jan Hirt, Davide Rebellin and Felix Grossschartner.

When the escapees hit the first ascent the break split and Kennaugh went off solo. Also the peloton got shattered and it whittled down to only about 20 riders. Unfortunately there were no representatives of the Polkowice-based team.

Exhausted Team Sky rider didn’t have the legs to outpace the chasers and was swept with 9km remaining. When the road started to rise for the last time, one attack after another was being launched from the main pack. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Garmin) managed to create a small gap and despite fierce chase they were able to hold on to their lead all the way to the line.

Inside the final kilometer Lopez put the hammer down, dropping his rival and taking an impressive win. Woods came in 2nd, and Canadian’s teammate, Rigobert Uran finished 3rd.

Jan Hirt was the first “rider in orange” at the top, taking 54th place, 8:14 behind.