Niccola Ruffoni (Bardiani) won the 196km GP Beghelli ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Willer-Southeast) and Jens Keukeleire (Orica-BikeExchange) in Monteveglio.
The GP Beghelli started out with our African Team ready to ride in support of Mark Cavendish today. When a 7 rider breakaway went clear in the beginning stages of the race, our African Team was happy to shoulder some of the responsibility and sent Daniel Teklehaimanot to the head of the bunch to control the gap.
Unfortunately though, after around an hour of racing Cavendish had to abandon the race after not feeling well since waking up this morning. From there on our African Team had no choice to just sit in the peloton and conserve energy for the final where Kristian Sbaragli gave us a strong plan B. The gap to the break went up to around 4’30” after Teklehaimanot pulled off the front and BMC took charge.
As the race came onto the 10 finishing circuit laps, the break started to lose some members and this saw the peloton etch closer to front runners. With 30km to go, the race was string out as just 2 riders had 50″ on the chasing peloton. At this point we had Adrien Niyonshuti, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jaco Venter working hard at the head of the race in order to bring back the break.
Orica-BikeExchange also joined the party and this saw the escape neutralized and a selection of 40 odd riders went went clear. We had Sbaragli, Jaco Venter and Nic Dougall as part of the front group and our guys went all in to deliver Sbaragli to the line. After the final climb on the last lap it came down to a small group sprint and Ruffoni proved to be the quickest of the lot. Our Italian fast man had to settle for 8th on the line.
Oliver Cookson – Sport Director
The race really came down to the final 2 laps when Orica were pulling really hard. There was a front group of 40 that got clear and we had Kristian, Jaco Venter and Nic Dougall in the first split and Ryan Gibbons was in the 2nd group with riders like Viviani. The final time up the circuit climb, Jaco and Nic both did really big turns to make it hard which was in favour of Kristian. Into the final Orica pulled hard again and Kristian was there but as sprinting goes, he placed 8th which is not a bad result after we had to adapt our plans when Cav pulled out.