The Italian impressed in his first race since abandoning the Giro d’Italia through injury one month ago.
This year’s Italian Championships took place in Emilia-Romagna, featuring some of the roads where Julian Alaphilippe triumphed last September at the Word Championships. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had just three riders at the start, but still found a way to finish in the top 3 for what was our team’s ninth podium at the National Championships this season.
With the breakaway within the peloton’s sight on the penultimate lap, Fausto Masnada plugged away some 35 kilometers from home, producing an attack that spelled the end of the escapees’s adventure off the front, only Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) being able to bridge across from the peloton, a couple of minutes later. The duo worked well together and pulled out a 20-second advantage over the chasers by the time they arrived at the foot of Cima Gallisterna, the day’s last difficulty.
There, Fausto tried repeatedly to drop his countryman, but despite his best efforts on those stinging gradients, Colbrelli remained glued to his wheel. On the descent, the two continued to swap turns at the front until the last 200 meters, where Masnada was the first to open his sprint and took silver – his first ever medal at the National Championships.
“It was very hard today, as the temperatures – which reached 40 degrees – made it extremely tough during those five hours we spent in the saddle. I made my move from afar hoping to go solo, but Sonny was really strong and could follow. I tried to dispatch him several times on the last ascent, but it wasn’t possible, so we continued to work together until the finish. Second is the best I could do today, and in these conditions, I’m satisfied, especially as it’s my first podium at the Italian Championships”, Fausto said after the race.
Photo credit: ©Sirotti.it