Mitchelton-SCOTT lockout the podium as Lucas Hamilton wins Coppi e BartaliSun 31 Mar 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT secured a historic one, two, three on the general classification as Lucas Hamilton safely negotiated the final stage to win the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
Fellow Australian’s Damien Howson and Nick Schultz capped off an incredible team performance by holding onto their second and third positions in the standings to end an impressive five days of racing in Italy.
Seven riders headed up the road on the final day to form the breakaway, but with Oscar Adalberto Quiroz (Coldeportes Bicicletas Strongman) amongst them, they were never going to be allowed too much leeway with the Colombian at 2’03” on the general classification.
Mitchelton-SCOTT were called into action early in the day when last year’s winner Diego Rosa (Team Sky) tried to bridge across to the break with four other riders. They opened up a gap of around 20-seconds, but were soon reeled back in.
The race then settled down as Mitchelton-SCOTT assumed their position at the head of the bunch and kept the gap to the escapees in check throughout the stage.
Finishing It Off
The remains of the break were brought back inside 20km to go and the attacks soon started with Edoardo Zardini (Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia – KTM) making a move. However, the attack was thwarted, with a high pace being set amongst the remaining 30 riders.
Mauro Finetto (Italian National Team) then jumped clear in the closing kilometres and the Italian swiftly opened up an advantage of over 10-seconds.
The gap proved to be enough to take the stage win, but nobody could overhaul Hamilton’s 16-second advantage in the general classification as he rolled home safely in the bunch with Schultz, while Howson grabbed on the day.
“Again the team were amazing, I don’t think I even had to touch the wind at all today and considering how hard the race was I’d say that’s pretty abnormal!”
“Movistar tried to split it with two laps to go but I think they saw we had strength in numbers still and it deterred them from trying again.”
“I still had Damo and Nick helping me out even though they were second and third on GC, that shows the attitude that this team has.”
“It’s my first professional win, and I love racing in Italy, so it’s nice to win an Italian race and to achieve one, two, three on the GC, that makes it a little bit more special.”
Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
“What an end to the race! It was another fantastic effort by the guys today, just like they have done all week, they controlled it all day.”
“There was nothing too dangerous up the road in the breakaway and whenever there was an attack by a rider on the GC, they just stayed together and slowly brought them back.”
“The priority ahead of the day was that we win the race and anything else was a bonus, but to get second and third, that really is a cherry on top and I couldn’t be prouder of the guys.”
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 5 Results:
1. Ludovic Robeet (Wllonie-Bruxelles) 3:48:05
2. Mikkel Bjerd (Hagens Beerman Axeon) +0:03
3. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) st
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali GC:
1. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 17:57:36
2. Damien Howson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:12
3. Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16
Photo courtesy of Kristof Ramon.