Ulissi wins Memorial Marco Pantani
Ulissi wins Memorial Marco Pantani
The short period between the Vuelta a España and the road world championships saw a number of races on the calendar. Diego Ulissi took the win at the Memorial Marco Pantani, and with Niccolo Bonifazio and Rui Costa other riders of TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA scored podium finishes in Italy and Canada.
Just one day after Rubén Plaza’s great solo win TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA’s sprinter Max Richeze narrowly missed out on a top5 finish: At the end of the final stage of the Vuelta a España the Argentinian sprinted to a 6th place in Madrid. On another note Plaza finished in 2nd in the KOM standings of the season’s third grand tour. On the very same Sunday the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal was the second worldtour race to be held in short succession in Canada. The race saw heavy rainfalls at times, but Rui Costa showed a strong performance under this difficult conditions: The Portuguese rider rode aggressively, joined the day’s decisive attack and finished the race in 3rd, just 2 seconds off the day’s winner Tim Wellens. Still Rui Costa sent out a strong signal that he’s on form for the world championships in the American city of Richmond.
No less than three one-day races in short succession were on the calendar in Italy as part of the Trittico Lombardo. For the first two of these races TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA fielded a strong sprinter team with Niccolo Bonifazio, Sacha Modolo and Roberto Ferrari, but also young riders such as Edward Ravasi and Luca Pacioni. These two riders have been chosen to represent the colours blue, fuchsia and MERIDA green as per August 1st at select races as trainees on a provisional basis. The first of these three races was the 69th edition of the Coppa Agostoni - a race that TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA had managed to win twice recently with Filippo Pozzato and Niccolo Bonifazio. The team showed an active race again this year: Throughout the finale its riders went all out in order to get the peloton back to a small group of attackers. But they fell short by only a couple of meters, so Niccolo Bonifazio could only sprint to 3rd place behind Davide Rebellin and Vincenzo Nibali.
On the next day the Coppa Bernocchi was contested, and a group of six attackers went for the win in Legnano. Vincenzo Nibali got to celebrate thanks to a late attack from the lead group. 21 seconds later Niccolo Bonifazio was the third-fastest rider from the peloton, thus finishing the race in 8th. While TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA was not competing at the Memorial Marco Pantani, but Diego Ulissi was lining up for the race as a member of the Italian national team. And what a race this was to become: Early on Diego Ulissi set off with 21 other riders, and from there things only got better. Teaming up with his national selection colleagues Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti, Ulissi pulled away from the lead group. This trio remained in the lead for the next 60 kilometers and got to sprint for the win in Cesenatico. And in this sprint Ulissi proved to be the fastest rider, showing that he is right on target for the world championships in Richmond as well.
The team time trial of the professional trade teams that is contested b six riders will serve as the opening competition for these world championships. TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA will go into this race with Rui Costa, Nelson Oliveira, Rubén Plaza, Mattia Cattaneo, Luka Pibernik and Jan Polanc.
12th Memorial Marco Pantani, 199.5km
1. Diego Ulissi, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, in 4:39.23 hours
2. Giovanni Visconti, ITA, st
3. Vincenzo Nibali, ITA, st
6th Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, 205.6km
1. Tim Wellens, BEL, in 5:20.09 hours
2. Adam Yates, GBR, st
3. Rui Costa, POR/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, + 0.02
69th Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze, 198.2km
1. Davide Rebellin, ITA, in 5:04.28 hours
2. Vincenzo Nibali, ITA, st
3. Niccolo Bonifazio, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, st