Davide Rebellin finished inside the top 20 in Giro dell’Emilia, which was won by Jan Bakelants (Ag2R).
Extremely high pace in the first hour of racing – 50km/h – didn’t allow attackers to go clear. The breakaway was formed as late as after 55 kilometers of racing. This is when Marco Frapporti (Androni – Sidermec) and Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne – SECHE) pulled away and established almost 3 minutes of advantage.
They were chased by few other ambitious cyclists, but they couldn’t close the gap and returned to the bunch. The main field was often led by CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Davide Rebellin’s teammates were making sure that their leader is in the right place and is always safe. It wasn’t an easy task since it was raining most of the race and the roads were slippery.
After half of the distance some riders tried to bridged across to the leading duo. Fabio Duarte (Colombia), Heiner Parra (Caja Rural) and Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast) were among them, but peloton quickly reacted, pushed the pace and not only caught those who counterattacked, but also made group of riders fall behind.
When it was 50 kilometers to go Bideau got caught. Frapporti tried to go solo, but was reeled in few minutes later. Next move was made by Antonio Nibali (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) and Andrea Fedi (Southeast). It happened when the riders tackled San Luca for the first time (out of 5). The leaders gained over one minute lead, but Nibali was not able to maintain such a high speed and was dropped. Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) took his spot in the front though, after a solo counterattack from a shattered, 25-man bunch.
The trio’s lead stabilized at around 1 minute. It turned out to be just enough to hold off the chasers. Unfortunately, due to rainy and cold weather, Davide Rebellin found himself in difficulties and couldn’t repeat his last year’s performance, when he took the win. He fell behind from the main group and arrived at the line 2 minutes back.
When the leaders approached the bottom of the final hill, the gap was still at around 30 seconds. In the very finale Bakelants had still enough in the tank to attack and powered to victory. He crossed the line by himself and beat Fedi and Madrazo who claimed 2nd and 3rd place. Rebellin finished in 18th place, among 35 riders who managed to complete the race.