Top twenty finishes for Yates and Chaves at GP Industria & Artigianato di Larciano

Sun 6 Mar 2016

The 39th edition of the GP Industria and Artigianato di Larciano has been won by Simon Clarke (Cannondale) with 2014 winner Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves finishing in the top twenty for ORICA-GreenEDGE.

“The weather was truly terrible today,” said sports director Neil Stephens. “We expected intermittent rain but it was basically relentless, along with the low temperatures it made life difficult for the whole field.”

“In those kind of racing conditions it can be very difficult to maintain focus and coherence out on the road. We lost Simon (Gerrans) after 120 kilometres and the boys did well to regroup and find some rhythm.”

“Esteban (Chaves) and Adam (Yates) worked really well together going over the last climb and it was a shame that we couldn’t hold onto the fourth and fifth wheels on the descent,” explained Stephens. “They both arrived in the top twenty and we can be satisfied with the result.”

Taking into account the weather conditions and the difficult parcours, Stephens was pleased with the team's overall performances this weekend.

“The aim of these races for us was to get some racing rhythm under our belts in preparation for Tirreno-Adriatico. I think we have achieved that and we can go into Wednesday’s race feeling positive and prepared for the next challenge.”

How it happened:

Wintery conditions welcomed the riders for the second consecutive day in Tuscany. Heavy rain and strong winds played their part on the fast undulating parcours. An early breakaway of around twenty riders formed within the first 15kilometres with four riders establishing themselves as the strongest and pulling away.

The gang of four comprised of Primin Lang (IAM), Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar), Michael Schawrzman (Bora-Argon18) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale) immediately they began to work well together and after 70 kilometres had developed a lead of over six minutes.

As the course changed direction and began the first circuits of Larciano, including the San Baronto climb, it was Schwarzman who appeared to be the strongest of the four escapees claiming the Gran Premio di Montagna points as first over the climb. However, as the pace from the chasing peloton intensified it was Schwarzman, followed by Sutterlin who were dropped first.

With 50 kilometres left to race Yates, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) and Diego Ulisi (Lampre) attempted an attacking move, which was followed by Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The move didn't stick and the chasing group swelled to around to forty riders.

After remaining out front for the best part of 180 kilometres the two leaders were joined by Clarke. Now alongside teammate Navardauskas the two Cannondale riders quickly dropped Lang before Clarke rode away alone, gaining an advantage of almost 30 seconds.

With under ten kilometres left to race Clarke crested San Baronto for the final time and began the descent to the finish. The chasers, including Yates and Chaves, did not look like catching him and he crossed the line to take the solo victory.

Andrea Fedi (Southeast-Venezuela) took second with Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) claiming third place and the last spot on the podium. Yates came home in eleventh place with Chaves close behind in fourteenth.

The next race for ORICA-GreenEDGE is the week-long stage race Tirreno-Adriatico, taking place in Italy from the 9th to the 15th of March.

GP Industria and Artigianato di Larciano results:

1. Simon Clarke (Cannondale) 5:00:00
2. Andrea Fedi (Southeast-Venezuela) 0:00:33
3. Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) 0:00:33
11. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 0:00:43