With the opening 150 kilometers almost entirely flat, a five-rider breakaway, including Rosskopf, was able to go clear early and extend an advantage of more than six minutes before the peloton began to take notice.
At the midway way point of the 179-kilometer race, the gap to Rosskopf and his fellow leaders had started to fall and at the start of the first ascent of the almost five-kilometer long climb up to the finish line, which had an average gradient of 9.1 percent and pitches of 14 percent in places, the main bunch was less than one minute behind.
Rosskopf continued to dig deep and, even as the breakaway started to split, he pushed on at the front of the race before, after being caught with around 20 kilometers to go, continuing to help de la Parte and Geschke in the reduced peloton that would soon go on to hit the climb for the second and final time all together.
It was at this point that the race really ignited with a combination of stinging attacks and the steep slopes quickly taking their toll on the size of the group, leaving small groups of riders spread out all across the road before Michael Woods (EF – Education First) eventually went on to take the win.
De la Parte, who finished third overall at CRO Tour last week, was CCC Team’s best-placed rider on the day, finishing around 40 seconds behind the day’s winner after riding his own pace and subsequently moving up through the field on his way to the line.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“It was nice to be up there on a course like this. The course is really straightforward and the breakaway is really easy to control unless the numbers are too big. It’s always nice to be out at the front of the race and be active.”
“It was a good test to see how my body was feeling after last week’s race and I felt pretty good and going up the road gave me the best chance of going over the top of the climb for the first time with the main bunch which I was able to do after being caught just before that.”
Víctor de la Parte:
“I think it was a hard day especially because it was raining right from the beginning and after coming out of a hard six-day race in Croatia, the legs did not feel so good at the start but, I knew that was how I was going to feel and I just kept trying to go a little better in the lead up to the finish. I think, on the last climb, I definitely felt better and so for Saturday, I will be totally recovered and ready to race harder again.”
“It was good for the team to have Joey up at the front. That was our goal and Joey did a really good job. They pushed hard all day and so for Il Lombardia, we are ready.”
Milano – Torino
One-day race: Magenta > Torino (Superga), (197km)
Top 3: 1. Michael Woods (EF Education First) 2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton – SCOTT)
CCC Team Top 3: 17. Víctor de la Parte 23. Simon Geschke 29. Riccardo Zoidl