Moreno Moser triumphs at the Trofeo Laigueglia 2018. The Italian national launched a solo attack on the final climb of the Colla Micheri and crossed finish-line the Ligurian semi-classic ahead of all competitors. His second success in what is now the opening race of the Italian calendar, since its first edition in 2012.
Paolo Totò (Sangemini-Mg.Kvis) took second place, closely followed by Matteo Busato (Wilier-SelleItalia), who were part of the group that formed in the late stages of a very aggressive race, particularly for Ag2r La Mondiale and Androni-Sidermec, who began attacking at more than 60 kilometers from the finish-line.
The morning started calmly, with a casual first five kilometers through Ligurian sunshine. The first move came from Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence), Francesco Bettini (D’Amico Utensilnord) and Audun Brekke Fløtten (Virtu Cycling) and did not seem to bother the bunch. The trio was let go, and built up a gap which touched ten minutes at its maximum, until shortly before the first ascent of the day.
Androni – Sidermec took to the front of the bunch at the foot of the Cima Paravenna and lowered the trio’s advantage by 2 mintues to 8’08 “. A second acceleration on the subsequent flat section of the course brought down the gap to 6’10” as they reached around the 90 kilometre mark. Bettini began to lose the wheel on the slopes of Capo Mele, eventually surrendering to the rhythm of his two companions and falling off the back.
Later on, Ag2r La Mondiale took charge of the bunch and committed to a significant change in pace. This saw a rapid reduction in size of the gap. El Fares took the KOM alone, with Fløtten unable keep up, he created a small gap for himself. With the gap now at 5’10” Nico Denz drives on the front the chasing group. The French put in a lot of work to break up the group and counterattack of 12 riders forms, eating up Flotten after around 140 kilometers of racing.
In this attack we find Clement Chevrier, Silvan Dillier, Hubert Dupont, Quentin Jaregui and Mickael Cherel (Ag2r La Mondiale), Mattia Cattaneo, Marco Frapporti, Francesco Gavazzi, Fausto Masnada and Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec), Calvin Watson (Aqua Blue Sport) and Davide Gabburro (Amore & Vita-Prodir), who quickly, with Fløtten, also take back El Fares, head of the race. This group eventually breaks in two, with the leading section taking twenty seconds on the chasers. Many riders couldn’t keep the pace, and quickly lost more than a minute.
A tight grip was held by the chasers with the gap hovering consistently around the 15-20 second mark but this exploded at around 50 kilometers from the finish, on the Colla Micheri, where Moreno Moser (Italy) broke away from the group to take the lead. Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF) lead the chase, while Ballerini, Watson, Gabburo, El Fares and Fløtten lost some ground- leaving 11 men in command, with 23 seconds ahead of the rest of the bunch.
The situation changes on the second approach to the Colla Micheri. Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille) launched a lone chase, while Wilier – Selle Italia take control of the group. In response, Silvan Dillier breaks away all, relying on the stronger numbers of his Ag2r La Mondiale team. The Swiss rider took about ten seconds as a chasing group of 21 men formed.
Dillier is reigned in at the summit of the climb, which allows Mauro Finetto (Delko-Marseille) to take the new lead shortly followed by Roland Thalmann (Voralberg) ahead of Jauregui and Moser. This new group comprises Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Matteo Busato (Wilier-Selle Italy) Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Fantini), Gianluca Brambilla (Italy), Paolo Totò (Sangemini-MgKvis) and Kasper Asgreen (Virtu Cycling) plus Gavazzi, Masnada, Moser, Combaud, Finetto and Thalmann. This is the group that will be played then the race in the last round, with Colla Micheri as the final judge.
It was indeed an uphill finish for Ag2r la Mondial as they tried voraciously to attack with Dupont but the decisive action is by Moreno Moser, who broke away alone, leaving group fighting for his wheel. Gavazzi and Bagioli scollinano with 12 seconds, while the others move in a few steps behind. The gap is not very big, but behind lack of organization and energy, so that the blue can quickly increase its advantage, that five kilometers from the end is still only 21 seconds. Paradoxically, the more the pursuers increase, the more the gap from Moser also increases, which comes with 39 seconds to 3 kilometers from the end, which become even 48 at the last kilometer.
Already winner with a similar action in 2012, the former enfant prodige has all the time to enjoy the triumphant arrival and celebrate with arms raised. Behind him will be Paolo Totò (Sangemini-MgKvis) to win the sprint of regrets and regrets, while Matteo Busato (Wilier-Selle Italy) closes in third position at the end of a tight sprint.
Order of arrival Laigueglia Trophy 2018
1 Moreno Moser (Italy)
2 Paolo Totò (Sangemini – MgK.Vis)
3 Matteo Busato (Wilier – Selle Italia)
4 Nicola Bagioli (Nippo – Fantini – Europe Sheep)
5 Francesco Gavazzi (Androni – Sidermec)
6 Kasper Asgreen (Virtu Cycling)
7 Romain Combaud (Delko – Marseille)
8 Roland Thalmann (Vorarlberg)
9 Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy)
10 Fausto Masnada (Androni – Sidermec)