Giacomo Villa puts everyone in the bag! Triumph at the Trofeo Piva
The Biesse-Carrera rider beat Alessio Martinelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and Davide De Pretto (Zalf Euromobil Fior) in a narrow sprint, after catching up with the leading group only in the last 500 metres
Shower of prosecco for Giacomo Villa in Piazza Rovere, in Col San Martino. He is the winner of the 74th edition of the Trofeo Piva, at the end of a very uncertain and exciting race until the last kilometre. The Biesse-Carrera rider won in a sprint restricted to five riders after managing to catch up with the outriders only 500 metres from the end. Second place for Alessio Martinelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and third for Davide De Pretto (Zalf Euromobil Desirée Fior), with Sergio Meris (Colpack Ballan) and Edoardo Zamperini (Zalf Euromobil Desirée Fior) respectively fourth and fifth finishing with the same time as the winner.
A few drops of rain during the team presentation had led to fears of another wet day after last year’s hailstorm, but this time the sun came out as the kilometres passed. In the first attack of the day there was also the No. 1, the idol of the house, Andreas Presti (UC Trevigiani Energiapura Marchiol), who tried the sortie together with Lorenzo Tedeschi (Hopplà Petroli Firenze-Don Camillo), Cole Kessler (Israel PremierTech Academy), Matteo Melotte (Bingoal WB Devo) and Natan Gregoric (Ljubljana Gusto Santic), who carved a furrow of about 1’30” compared to the group.
The situation shifted on the fifth passage (of the nine) to Combai, when Kristians Belohovosciks (UC Monaco), Andrea Guerra (Zalf Euromobil Fior), Filippo Ridolfo (Novo Nordisk) and Danilo Christian Pase (Work Service Vitalcare Dynatek) emerged from the group and moved into the lead, with Melotte and Gregoric not in the bunch. At about 80 km to go a mass crash slowed down the group and some of the favourites a little, but within a few kilometres the situation calmed down again and attention turned to the triple climb of San Vigilio.
The Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè took control of the situation, the group thinned out, caught the escapees between sprints and counter sprints and only 35 riders remained in front. After the last ascent of Combai, the group was further thinned out to 16 riders, who all arrived together on the final, decisive climb towards the small church of San Vigilio. Here it was Alessio Martinelli who forced the pace, with De Pretto sticking to his wheel and Meris right behind. In the dive towards Col San Martino, the two in the lead were joined by Meris, then Zamperini and Villa 500 metres from the finishing line. At that point it was a sprint, and Villa was the fastest of all: on the finish line he exulted like Van Aert, miming the condor gesture, then on the podium he received a well-deserved shower of prosecco to celebrate the most important success of his career.
Giacomo Villa (Biesse-Carrera): “The joy is great, I have just won one of the most prestigious international classics on the calendar. I knew I was OK, we also had Anders Foldager in the team, but today I was a little better and he sacrificed himself for me. At the top of San Vigilio I lost a few metres, but I knew that then down at Col San Martino I could watch a bit. So it was, I came back and at -150 metres to go I launched my sprint. It’s a victory that gives me great confidence, my goal is to be able to go pro. The jubilation like Van Aert? I saw a video of one of his victories yesterday and it inspired me”.
Alessio Martinelli (Green Project-Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè): “The leg was turning really well, but then again it has been like that since the beginning of the year. I was also strong in the pro peloton and I really wanted to win today, but unfortunately Villa surprised me in the finale. I have to thank the team for their great work, we are a close-knit group, today in the final there were even three of us in the race. That’s good for now.
Davide De Pretto (Zalf Euromobil Fior): “I wanted to win, we were racing close to home and it would have been nice to give this success to the sponsors. When I stayed with Martinelli at the top of the last San Vigilio climb I was convinced I could win the sprint, but at the bottom of the descent we looked at each other and the others came back. Zamperini tried to pull me back into the sprint, but Villa did well to lightning everyone”.
Mario De Rosso (President of AC Col San Martino): “It was one of the most uncertain and hard-fought editions that I can remember, the finish was really exciting. We had fun, and I think the fans did too, who as always arrived in large numbers on both Combai and San Vigilio. A big thank you goes to the volunteers, the authorities and our sponsors, who year after year support us and motivate us to keep going. Next year, the Trofeo Piva will be 75 years old, a milestone that should be celebrated properly’.
- Giacomo Villa (Biesse-Carrera) in 4h40’35”
- Alessio Martinelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) s.t.
- Davide De Pretto (Zalf Euromobil Fior) s.t.
- Sergio Meris (Colpack Ballan) s.t.
- Edoardo Zamperini (Zalf Eurombil Fior) s.t.
- Alessandro Pinarello (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) +10”
- Alexander Hajek (Tirol KTM) s.t.
- Giovanni Bortoluzzi (CT Friuli) s.t.
- David Ruvalcava Reyes (A.R. Monex) s.t.
- Filippo Ridolfo (Novo Nordisk) +19”