Rebellin wins Coppa Agostoni

Davide Rebellin confirmed great form at the end of the 2015 season, by winning Coppa Agostoni. His group held off the chasing bunch and he defeated former Tour de France winner, Vincenzo Nibali in two man sprint.

It was a big win for me, since it was achieved after very hard race. We attacked with Nibali and Scarpani and we were chased down by the peloton for nearly 50 kilometers in the flat terrain, which favors the bunch. I entered the final 2 kilometers together with Nibali and with 200 meters to go we began the sprint. Astana rider passed me at first, but I managed to sit on his wheel and overtake him 50 meters from the line. I’m very happy about that victory and I want to thank the entire team, which helped me to be in a position to win – Davide Rebellin said afterwards.

Before Rebellin’s winning move, another „rider in orange” – Stefan Schumacher – got in the day’s main breakaway. It was formed after nearly 25 kilometers of racing. Schumacher was joined in the leading group by Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni – Sidermec), Miguel Benito (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), Mattia Pozzo (NIPPO – Vini Fantini), Davide Ballerini (Unieuro Willier – Trevigiani), Giacomo Tomio (Roth – Skoda) and Rafael Andriato (Southeast). They worked hard to established over 4-minute advantage, but the Astana-led peloton went to work early and started the chase.

With 80 kilometers to go the gap dropped to under one minute. This is when the breakaway began to split apart. First Tomio and Andriato got dropped and later Schumacher attacked with Zilioli. A moment later Ballerini and Benito joined the duo. Another move was made by Zilioli. He took off solo and nobody followed. He built up 30 second lead over the chasers, but eventually all of the escapees where caught with around 50 kilometers to go.

The race favorites didn’t wait long for new attacks, since they were already on the last, 24-kilometer, hilly lap and the rest of the course was flat or downhill. Davide Rebellin accelerated on the climb and only Astana duo – Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi were able to keep up the pace. At first they were chased by Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Mauro Finetto (Southeast), but since they were unable to bridge the gap, they both came back to the 50-man bunch.

Italian trio was working well together, creating a one minute advantage. In the very finale Rebellin and Nibali pulled away and Scarponi was reeled in. The peloton was getting closer with every kilometer but the attackers managed to hold off the chasing group and the race was decided in a two-man sprint. More experienced Italian was also the fastest one on that day and took an impressive win. It was his seconds individual victory this season, after triumphing on stage 3 of Tour of Turkey. He was also a part of the winning team, in TTT during Coppi e Bartali.

Nibali finished second and Niccolo Bonifiazio (Lampre – Merida), who was the strongest from the bunch, was third. Maciej Paterski also finished strong, in 8th place. Only 35 riders completed the race and that number shows how hard the competition was.