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Milano-Torino: Uran hangs on to capture victory

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) buried himself in the final few hundred meters to survive a late-charge by Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) to win the 98th edition of Milano-Torino on Thursday atop the Superga climb overlooking Torino.

“I’m very happy about this win,” Uran said. “I possibly attacked a bit too early but I wanted to try from that far out because I feel I’m in very good shape, and I know this climb very well. Il Lombardia is coming and it’s great to see that I am in a good condition to push a big gear in the hills. Winning is great, but for me the most important thing is to enjoy racing as much as I did at the Tour de France.”

Uran joined a select group of six early on the 5km finishing climb that included Italian national champion Fabio Aru (Astana). Uran made his move with under 3kms to go, gaining a significant gap and looking to have the race won. He didn’t expect a late-charge from the other top-tier favorites, however. Yates and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) came on strong late in the climb but were unable to capture the victory.

Yates finished 10-seconds behind Uran, while Aru was able to hold-off Quintana for the final podium position.

Top 10

  • 1. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), in 4:24:51.
  • 2. Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), at 00:10.
  • 3. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team), at 00:20.
  • 4. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), at 00:28.
  • 5. David Gaudu (FDJ), at 00:31.
  • 6. Wout Poels (Team Sky), at 00:31.
  • 7. Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina), at 00:33.
  • 8. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), at :00:35.
  • 9. Pierre Roger Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), at 00:43.
  • 10. Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), at 00:53.

Milano-Torino, the oldest race on the professional calendar, celebrated its 141st birthday in 2017, although it was only the 98th edition of the race. The 186km route started in San Giuliano Milanese, a suburb of the city of Milan and finished in the hilltop town of Superga overlooking the city of Torino. The final 5km climb to the finish, which was to be tackled twice by the peloton, averaged a blistering 9.1-percent.

The rolling ride from the start toward the finishing climb was dominated by a four-rider breakaway, which included Patrick Lauk (Astana), Simone Andreetta (Bardiani-CSF), Guillaume Bonnafond (Cofidis), and Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo).

Heading into the Superga for the first time, Team Astana were the main protagonists at the front of the peloton. The breakaway was swallowed up on the lower slopes of the climb, as riders began to attack in earnest.

Soon a threatening group escaped the peloton’s grasp. Winner Anacona (Movistar), 2015 winner Diego Rosa (Team Sky), and Pello Bilbao (Team Astana) got a gap. Pierre LaTour (Ag2r-La Mondiale) bridged the gap to create a leading quartet.

Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) drove the pace at the front of the ever-thinning peloton and right as the group was about to bring back the leading quartet, Julien Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) attacked. The Frenchman flew by the leaders and powered over the top of climb alone. He still had 19kms to go and another ascent of the Superga to go.

Alaphilippe looked uncommitted on the descent. He continued to look back and didn’t appear to be taking any risks and trying to stretch his advantage over the peloton. He was brought back just inside the 8km to go mark, setting up an exciting finale for the final climb to the finish.

The second and final ascent of the Superga is 600 meters longer than the first, as the riders navigate a hairpin near the top of the climb to go to the finish in front of the Basilica.

Rudy Molard (FDJ) attacked, as the select group that was the peloton hit the lower slopes of the climb. Aru soon attacked and the Italian drew-out a few other riders, creating a lead group of six with just under four kilometers to go. The leaders were Molard, Aru, Uran, David Gaudu (FDJ), Mickaël Cherel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Egan Bernal (Androni-Sidermec-Bottecchia).

The group was disorganized and Uran made his winning move with just under 3km to go, bridging to a small attack by Gaudu and then dropping the Frenchman.

Uran looked set for victory as the work of the chase fell onto the shoulders of Aru and the 2015 Vuelta a España champion didn’t look to have the legs to bring back Uran.

Yates and Quintana attacked the climb late and slowly reeled-in the remaining chasers. Yates seemed destined to bring back Uran, but the Briton simply ran out of road and Colombia celebrated victory in the race for the second year running. Miguel Ángel López (Team Astana) won in 2016.

Aru was able to hold-off Quintana for third, as a host of other chasers were right behind at the finish. Gaudu finished fifth with Wout Poels (Team Sky) sixth.

Full results to come

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