Uran Wins Milano-Torino
The first edition of the Milano-Torino race was contested in 1876 and won by the naturalist, explorer and cyclist Paolo Magretti. The 2017 Milano-Torino was contested on a hilly 186 kilometer route that concluded with a climb to the top of the Superga hill, where the beautiful Basilica church overlooks the city of Turin.
The annual race is known to be initiated with a breakaway forming, while the peloton sets a fast pace as it progresses along the flat part of the route in order to reach two decisive climbs at the end of the route. Riders used the same template in today's race and a four-man breakaway featuring Patrick Lauk (Astana), Guillaume Bonnafond (Cofidis), Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo) and Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) were sent to the front.
As the peloton approached the culminating part of the route, the Movistar, Cannondale-Drapac and FDJ.fr teams moved to the front and started to reel in the front quartet. With fifty kilometers left their lead had been reduced to just 02:30 and behind them race favorites started preparing their attacks.
When the front group reached the 30 kilometer finishing circuit, Bonnafond and Andreetta attacked from the front group, but their briefly renewed hope of success was quickly squashed as various race favorites initiated their attacks, thereby increasing the pace in the peloton.
Movistar and a determined Cannondale-Drapac team set a fast pace at the front of the peloton, then Winner Anacona released the fireworks. Team Sky's Diego Rosa bridged the gap with Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Rein Taaramae (Katusha). Team QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe also made contact with the front group and then initiated a strong solo attack, which left the other attackers behind.
Alaphilippe's attack was effective and durable and he took the opportunity to once again prove his worth to spectators and competitors. On the descent from the climb his lead, however, had been reduced to twenty seconds, so he decided to await companionship from teammate Daniel Martin and favorites from competing teams.
Once the front group reached the 4.9 kilometer climb that would take the riders to the finish line at the peak of the Superga hill overlooking Turin, FDJ.fr's Rudy Molard initiated an attack and was immediately followed by always-eager Italian champion Fabio Aru of Team Astana in his red, white and green outfit.
The duo was followed by Mikael Cherel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Egan Bernal (Androni), FDJ.fr's Frenchman David Gaudu, and Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran of Team Cannondale-Drapac.
At this point Uran courageously attacked solo from the front and no other rider was able to match his accelerations on the climb towards the finish line. Gaudu tried at first, then decided to throw in the towel and carry on at a pace that would suit him better and eventually result in a top five finish for the Frenchman.
While Uran fought hard to deliver an additional race win for his Cannondale-Drapac outfit, Orica-Scott's Adam Yates had attacked from the back and set an impressive speed on the climb. Yates' performance appeared very effective and Uran's race lead was continuously reduced as he approached the finish line.
The Cannondale rider, however, proved the strongest man of the day and he crossed the finish line in solo fashion to win Milano-Torino 2017.
Yates finished second, ten seconds behind, and Aru arrived twenty seconds after Uran.
"It was a good day and of course I'm really happy. This is a nice victory for me and for Cannondale-Drapac — for everybody," race winner Uran told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium.
"I wanted to wait until the second climb, because this climb is short, but really hard. I was in a group of four, five riders and I decided to attack on instinct. I went full gas to the finish line."
"In my career, sometimes I have been told that I’ve attacked too early or too late. Today it was early, not exactly when I planned to do it. But I saw a gap, trusted my instincts and I went – on the hardest part of the climb," Uran explained.
"I thought Fabio Aru or someone would come across, but nobody did. I had the situation under control, but I wasn't one hundred percent sure of winning until I looked behind me in the final curve. It's important for me and the Cannondale team to get a victory as a confidence booster ahead of Saturday's Il Lombardia 2017, which is a race I like a lot."
Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr), Wout Poels (Team Sky Pro Cycling), Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Daniel Martin and a number of other favorites delivered inferior performances in today's race and their attention is now focused on Saturday's Giro di Lombardia 2017.
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2017 Milan-Turin Results:
1. Rigoberto Uran (Team Cannondale-Drapac) 04:24:51
2. Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) 00:10
3. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) 00:20
4. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) 00:28
5. David Gaudu (FDJ) 00:31
6. Wout Poels (Team Sky) 00:31
7. Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina) 00:33
8. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 00:35
9. Pierre Roger Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) 00:43
10. Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) 00:53