New Zealander Dion Smith was the top finisher for Team BikeExchange at the Gran Premio Città di Lugano, sprinting to seventh place behind the winning break in Switzerland.
Hungarian Barnabás Peák made it into the early breakaway and was the last man standing from the original move after following an attack from Fabio Aru who had bridged across from the peloton.
It was eventually all back together as the reduced bunch raced across the line for two laps to go, but despite several attacks over the course of the penultimate circuit, the peloton remained intact as the bell rang for the final loop.
Four riders then attacked clear in what proved to be the decisive move, with Andrey Zeits and Smith amongst the numerous chasing groups spread across the road. In the end it was Gianni Moscon who took the win with a late attack, while Smith crossed the line in seventh place.
“We had a small team to start, but there wasn’t much to do but sit and let the other WorldTour teams like UAE and Israel to do the work. It was a course that slowly wore you down and with the heat it made trying to save energy even more important.
We also had Barney in the break which took pressure off us. I couldn’t do much to follow the leading four guys on the climb on the last lap, but I came in not too far behind and I’m happy enough with a top-10.”
Gene Bates (Sport Director):
“Today was a very hard race in the end, mainly because of the heat. We saw temperatures above 32 degrees for most of the day, and on a circuit race like that it makes it a very hard race and we saw a lot of riders dropping out.
Our guys rode well, we had Barnabás in the break of the day and it was nice to have him up the road in case we needed him. In the end Dion was seventh and I think the guys delivered what they could today, and it was a good result for Dion.”
2021 Gran Premio Città di Lugano – Results:
1. Gianni Moson
2. Valerio Conti
3. Ben Hermans
7. Dion Smith (Team BikeExchange)
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.