Stannard a strong second at Trofeo PivaSun 1 Apr 2018
Mitchelton-BikeExchange got their European campaign underway in positive fashion at the 70th edition of Trofeo Piva in north eastern Italy today with 19-year-old Australian Robert Stannard leading from the front and taking an impressive second place.
A sunny Easter Sunday in the Veneto saw a cagey race unfold and despite a flurry of attacks with around 100kilometres to go the bunch raced attentively and remained together for the majority of the race.
That was until the penultimate circuit when an attack by Stannard split the bunch and created a reduced group at the head of the race.
The Stannard group could not get clear and the reformed peloton caught them with ten kilometres left to race and a fast finale unfolding, but Stannard remaining positioned well at the front as the late attacks came.
One rider remained out front carrying a slim advantage into the final kilometre as the reduced bunch kicked behind, Stannard drove on, but Paolo Baccio (Mastromarco) held on for the win with Stannard leading the sprint for second place.
A strong team performance saw Colombian Brayan Chaves make his first appearance for the team and support Stannard well alongside Jacob Hennessy and Sam Jenner. Australian Harry Sweeny crashed out on the descent with four laps to go, fortunately not injuring himself and able to race tomorrow at Giro del Belvedere.
Robert Stannard – 2nd:
“It was quite a pedestrian start to the race and didn’t really get going until the closing laps when it came alive very quickly. We knew that we needed to be positioned well near the front over the final couple of climbs and Jacob did a great job of driving the pace onto the penultimate ascent.”
“That allowed me to get a good jump when I attacked and in think that move could’ve stayed away, but no one really wanted to work. As the bunch came back together on the last lap I knew I needed to stay up front and chose my wheels really carefully, I was mindful of the wind and the last corner before the finish.
“I kicked when I felt everyone else going and got a good run to the line, it was a sprinters finish, but the winner just managed to hold on, maybe one or two bike lengths at the line.
“I am happy with the result, I didn’t know what to expect as it was my first race since Dubai Tour, but the guys rode really well today and we’re looking forward to going straight into action again tomorrow.”
Sport director James Victor:
“Trofeo Piva is normally our first race on the calendar, but we started earlier this year and already have a fair few race days under our belt. With the new parcours we were stepping into the unknown a little and the boys acquitted themselves very well, displaying some solid teamwork.”
“It was a strong finish from Rob and an even stronger attack over the penultimate climb after some great wok by Jacob to drag the bunch onto the slopes before Rob kicked. Brayan handled himself well in his first ever European race and learnt a lot about positioning in the bunch today.
“Today will be a great confidence boost for the boys ahead of our next races, we achieved a good result against a competitive field and it pushes us into tomorrow’s race at the Giro del Belvedere with a really positive attitude.”
Trofeo Piva results:
1. Paolo Baccio (Mastromarco)
2. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-BikeExchange) ST
3. Jake Stewart (Great-Britain) ST