The Memorial Marco Pantani ran its course for 11th time yesterday with Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) riding away with the spoils.
Grega Bole (Vini Fantini Nippo) was 2nd in the small bunch sprint and Fabio Chinello (Area Zero Pro Team) was 3rd. Team MTN-Qhubeka trainee, Karel Hnik was mixing it up in the sprint and ended as our highest placed rider in 13th.
The racing started off with a 5 man breakaway going clear early on which contained our Ethiopian Champion, Tsgabu Grmay. Grmay and his escaped companions built up a nice 4 minute lead on the peloton but the local Italian teams who missed the move were eager to brings things back together. The pressure applied in the peloton caused major splits and when the break was caught with still 75km to go, only 60 riders remained in the race.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were well represented with Daniel Teklehaimanot, Tsgabu Grmay, Dennis van Niekerk and Hnik all part of the big selection. Some aggressive racing saw multiple groups go off the front but with the final big climb situated 40km from the finish, the few sprinters that remained in the race made sure their teams kept things together. Of the 191 starters only 54 riders would finish this tough race with Hnik, Teklehaimanot and Van Niekerk all surviving to the finish for MTN-Qhubeka.
Watch our boys in the mix of the final sprint here: