Sprinters Prevail at Gran Piemonte After Day in the Breakaway for Rosskopf11. October 2018, Stupinigi (ITA) — Road Team
Gran Piemonte, the second-to-last Italian one-day classic, came down to a predicted bunch sprint with Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team) taking the win, after Joey Rosskopf flew the BMC Racing Team flag in the breakaway.
Rosskopf formed part of the four-rider breakaway and opened up a 1’45” advantage in the first 20 kilometers, of the 191 kilometer race, before gaining a maximum advantage of almost three minutes.
Just after the feed zone, Lotto Soudal launched a coordinated attack which saw more riders join Rosskopf’s breakaway, which was just 30 second ahead of the bunch, but with the new formation posing a threat to the sprinters, the breakaway was quickly shut down.
Matti Breschel (EF Education First - Drapac) launched a solo move before Andrey Grivko (Astana Pro Team) attacked to overtake Breschel and managed to open up a one-minute advantage.
A nasty crash on the wet roads saw multiple riders go down, including Freddy Ovett who was fortunately able to continue, but it didn’t slow the peloton down and approaching the final 20 kilometers, Grivko was just 30 seconds ahead.
Grivko was caught with 13km remaining which set the stage for the bunch sprint won by Colbrelli, while Rosskopf was the first BMC Racing Team rider across the line in 34th place.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“We were all trying for the breakaway to get something out of the race as we don’t really have a sprinter here. It’s also a safe place to be and you stay warm when it’s raining the whole time. The breakaway was really cooperating well. There were only four of us so we could have done with some more firepower, six or eight riders. But everyone was committed which was nice as you get into a lot of breakaways when riders are trying to outsmart each other, so that was positive.”
“Almost the whole Lotto Soudal team, at least four riders, bridged to us, along with some other riders who tagged along. They came up to us and kept riding hard for another ten kilometers or so, but the field was never going to let that go so they brought us back after that."
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“It was clear that it was a flat race and we expected a bunch sprint but we have no sprinters in the team so we wanted to go in the breakaway. We had Joey Rosskopf in there, it was a good move with four strong riders, but Astana Pro Team controlled from the beginning and didn’t let them go more than 2’30” clear. Then the move from Lotto Soudal shut down the breakaway and it was down to a bunch sprint. We didn’t want to take the risk. De Marci, Teuns, and Caruso were able to use the race as preparation for Il Lombardia on Saturday.”
Racconci > Stupinigi (191km)
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), 2. Florian Seneschal (Quick-Step Floors), 3. Davide Ballerini (Andiron Giocattoli-Sidermec)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 34. Joey Rosskopf, 39. Freddy Ovett, 45. Alexander Evans