Frantisek Sisr finished 6th on the opening stage of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, which ended successfully for the escape.
Info: March 23th, Gatteo – Gatteo, 97.8km
Course: undulating, with three hilly laps in the second part of the race, flat finale
Due to short distance on the first half-stage, it was certain that the pace will be high from the very start. After multiple breakaway attempts and nearly 30km of racing, 7 riders managed to go clear. Iuri Filosi (NIPPO – Vini Fantini), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo – Vital Concept), Nicolas Samparisi (D’Amico – Utensilnord), Vitaliy Buts (Kolss Cycling Team), Sebastian Schonberger (Tirol Cycling Team) and Samir Jabrayilov (Synergy Baku) were part of the escape of the day, gaining as much as 2:40 on the bunch.
The break split on the hilly circuit, as Pichot and Calmejane left other escapees behind. They approached final 20km of racing with a solid 1:30 lead and since none of the teams took the responsibility of leading the chase, having in mind the afternoon’s TTT, the duo managed to hold on and arrive at the line ahead of the pack.
In a two-man sprint Pichon beat Calmejane and became first overall leader of the race. Elia Vivani (Team Sky) was the fastest from the peloton which arrived 19 seconds after the successful break.
Frantisek Sisr again showed his sprinting abilities taking 6th place. For him it was first top 10 spot in 2017 season.