The Italian was in the mix Thursday afternoon.
The Italian autumn calendar continued with Gran Piemonte, a 198km race that came with a revamped course, easier – at least on paper – than the one in recent years, which heavily favoured the climbers. The main difficulty of the day was Il Pilonetto, a 3.3km hill averaging 7.9%, and it was there that the teams lacking sprinters increased the tempo and dropped all the sprinters, who by the time they reached the top of the climb found themselves two minutes in arrears.
Andrea Bagioli, Tim Declercq and Pieter Serry, who raced for the first time since helping Remco Evenepoel become World Champion in Australia at the end of September, made the cut for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, part of a 30-man group that kept pushing on the flat roads of the Piedmont to maintain the gap.
The buffer of the leaders was reduced to 40 seconds just twenty kilometers from the finish, but despite having the numbers by their side, the chasers couldn’t make the catch and the reduced bunch ended up fighting for victory in Beinasco, where Ivan Cortina (Movistar) prevailed. Guided by “El Tractor”, Andrea came home as our team’s best rider, finishing in eighth place for his second top 10 of the season after the one in the Grand Prix de Montreal, where he was third.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images