The rider Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) is the new Italian Road Champion, after a distance of 236km from Asti to Ivrea (Gran Piemonte). Aru soloed in the last climb and maintained the lead of the race until the finish line in Ivrea. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Rinaldo Nocentini (Club-Sporting/Tavira) finished second and third.
Éite Men’s Road Race (Gran Piemonte)
1 – Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) – 236km in 5h52’31”, average speed 40.168km/h
2 – Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) at 40″
3 – Rinaldo Nocentini (Club-Sporting/Tavira) s.t.
The new Italian Road Race Champion Fabio Aru said: “Initially the course might have looked easy but the climb was really hard. On Tuesday, I came to recce it with Paolo [Tiralongo]. From then on, I believed I had my chance to become the Italian champion. I never experienced that before. In the u23, I finished second. That was my best result so far. I’m really happy to have made my dream come true today. It’s an immense satisfaction. The competition was so high with [Gianni] Moscon, [Damiano] Caruso, my friend Diego Ulissi and many others on good form. My plan was to go flat out from the bottom of the climb in the last lap. Once I made a gap, I was informed kilometer by kilometer. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that I was 40 seconds ahead. Looking at the speed, I was always between 50 and 52km/h. During a training ride in Sierra Nevada, Michele Scarponi and I exchanged jerseys because I had the xs size and I wanted to try the s. I haven’t told anyone but since I’ve resumed racing, I’ve been racing with Michele’s jersey. I wanted to offer it after my first victory to his wife Anna and his children Giacomo and Tommaso. Here it is.”
Diego Ulissi said:“I’m happy because Fabio [Aru] was really strong. He showed that he has better legs than anyone else. Even though we were chasing hard, he increased his lead. He deserves the win. As for myself, I can go to the Tour de France with ambition. The good work is paying off.”
Rinaldo Nocentini said:“It’s very important for me to make the podium of the Italian championship. Being part of a Portuguese team, I almost never race in Italy. Two months ago I didn’t know if I’d ride the nationals or not. When I decided to do it, I prepared well for it. When I saw Fabio Aru going as strongly as at the Dauphiné, I understood he would be hard to beat. He impressed me really.”