17 Sep 2018

Sonny Colbrelli wins the Coppa Bernocchi

This weekend did not only see the conclusion of the Vuelta a España and the start of the Trittico Lombardo one-day races. After a 3rd place for Enrico Gasparotto at the Coppa Agostoni, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM got to celebrate Sonny Colbrelli’s win at the Coppa Bernocchi.

Throughout September and October three one-day races are being held in Northern Italy under the Trittico Lombardo brand. Last year the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM managed to win one of these races, and the riders in red, gold and darkblue fielded strong teams for the first two races this year as well: With Sonny Colbrelli as the designated sprinters and Giovanni Visconti and Grega Bole as options for sprints of a smaller group, the team was ready for various scenarios. This proved necessary at the Coppa Agostoni where the team also fielded Manuele Boaro, Enrico Gasparotto, Domen Novak and Maxim Pirard. Due to the high pace Sonny Colbrelli got dropped on the hilly circuit of the race. While Gianni Moscon and Rein Taaramäe dropped all others and contested for the win, Enrico Gasparotto saved the day from the team’s perspective, attacking from the group of chasers and finishing in third, scoring a podium finish.

One day later Sonny Colbrelli was the defending champion at the 100th edition of the Coppa Bernocchi. He could rely on the support of Grega Bole, Giovanni Visconti, Meiyin Wang, Valerio Agnoli, David Per and Maxim Pirard. At first four attackers took charge of things, but the athletes of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM were riding attentively and managed to reduce the advantage of the lead group to one minute before the last hour of racing. This prompted a couple of counterattacks that made the lead group grow in size. Thanks to the tireless pacing of Meiyin Wang the peloton pulled back the attackers with 22 kilometers to go. The last attackers of the day were caught with three kilometers to go, and from there Giovanni Visconti and Grega Bole set Sonny Colbrelli up perfectly for the sprint. The Italian showed an impressively powerful acceleration and crossed the finish line with an advantage of multiple bike lengths, thus repeating last year’s win at the anniversary edition of the race.

At the Vuelta a España, the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM could not deliver an exploit after the second rest day: The lead in the team classification got lost after the individual time trial where Ion Izagirre was the team’s best-placed finisher in 14th. From there Vincenzo Nibali was riding some stages in an aggressive mood, showing that his form curve is pointing up before Innsbrucks’s World championships. Ion Izagirre on the other hand had problems to keep up with the pace of his overall riders on the steepest ramps, dropping to 9th place in the overall standings. And to make matters worse, the team lost two of its riders after stage 17 with Mark Padun and Hermann Pernsteiner, who had been placed in 19th in the overall standings when injuries sustained in a high-speed crash forced him to abandon. Still the riders in red, gold and dark blue managed to keep themselves in 2nd place in the team classification narrowly. The best result of the final week came courtesy of Ivan Cortina who finished the sprint of the peloton behind two attackers in 3rd and thus crossed the finish line in 5th place.

1. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, in 4:29.03 hours
2. Manuel Belletti, ITA, st
3. Paolo Simion, ITA, st

1. Gianni Moscon, ITA, in 4:49.33 hours
2. Rein Taaramäe, EST, + 0.01
3. Enrico Gasparotto, ITA/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.23 

1. Movistar Team, in 246:50.04 hours
3. Bora-Hansgroha, + 47.57