Matthew Walls (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the Gran Piemonte in a sprint finish from Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka NextHash) and Olav Kooij (Team Jumbo Visma).
The Gran Piemonte, our penultimate race of the season, and also the final opportunity for our sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, took place over 168km from Rocco Canavese to Borgose today.
While the route included a few short sharp climbs midway through the race, the mostly flat finale made it a race that the sprinter teams would want to control. With Nizzolo, one of the race favourites, our team joined Cofidis to keep an early 5-rider breakaway in check.
The escapees never got much more than 2-minutes, thanks to some good work from our Danish duo of Emil Vinjebo and Andreas Stokbro. With 20km to go, the race was all back together and teams began to prepare their leadout.
Nizzolo was able to count on Victor Campenaerts and our Qhubeka Continental team talents, Antonio Puppio & Luca Coati to guide him toward the line. The team did a fantastic job, with Campenaerts & Puppio leading the race under the kilometer to go banner.
There was an early jump for the line down left side, while Nizzolo went right. Our Italian finished with a lot of speed and looked to have timed his sprint to perfection but the Olympic track champion, Walls, just pipped Nizzolo for the win.
Still, it was a fine finish to the season for Nizzolo who racked up 3 victories and 9 other podium places for Team Qhubeka NextHash this year. It was also a special final race for his teammate and good friend, Matteo Pelucchi, who brought his career to an end after today’s Gran Piemonte.