Giovanni Visconti took his first win in Bahrain Merida colours on Saturday with an impressive ride in the Giro dell’Emlia. The 34-year-old attacked on the finishing circuit with 16 kilometres remaining and held off a late chase from the peloton to seal the win as teammate Vincenzo Nibali marked several counter-attacks.
Nibali put in a late attack to finish second, while Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale Drapac) completed the podium.
Bahrain Merida controlled the race for most of the day and had numbers when it mattered most, chasing several key moves before Visconti’s second attack on the penultimate lap of the finishing circuit created a gap of 30 seconds. Team Sky, BMC Racing and several other teams tried to chase the veteran Italian rider but the pursuit was halted briefly when last year’s winner Esteban Chaves (Orica Scott) crashed on a descent. The Colombian was on the front of the bunch when he hit the deck and bounced into the verge on the side of the road.
With one lap to go Visconti only needed to hold firm and despite a late attack from Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) the Bahrain rider took the win.
The race began at an electric pace with Davide Ballerini (Androni Sidermec), Redi Halilaj (Amore e Vita Selle SMP), Francois Bidard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis Solutions Credits), Fabien Doubey (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani – Csf) and Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) forming the break of the day.
The group initially had a lead of seven minutes but the likes of Bahrain Merida, Team Sky, Cannondale and FDJ slowly reduced the gap to just over a minute with 40 kilometres remaining.
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