Giampaolo Caruso wins Milano-Torino

Caruso punches his way to victory on the steep final climb of the 199-kilometer Italian classic race

Katusha’s Giampaolo Caruso won the 193.5-kilometer Milano-Torino race held Wednesday.

The 2014 event was the 95th edition of the race, making it the oldest one-day classic race held in Italy.

The 26-year-old Italian won on the steep final climb to the finish, the Colle di Superga, which the peloton tackled twice in the closing 19 kilometers of the race. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r La Mondiale) was second, and Caruso’s Katusha teammate, Daniel Moreno finished third.

“I am very happy. I was already many times close to victory this season, but finally I made it,” Caruso said. “Sergei Chernetckii did enormous work. He attacked with four kilometers to go. When Nocentini counterattacked, I followed him. With 2.5 km to go we caught Chernetckii but he continued to work hard in the front until 1k to go. He was super. As I knew Nocentini is very strong in the sprint, I tried to anticipate and attacked with 300 meters to go. He followed me but I had a second acceleration in my legs.”

Several notable stars returned to racing after the world championships in Spain, including Fabio Aru (Astana), who placed fourth, and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), who was fifth.

Vuelta a España champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was sixth.

“This was Alberto’s first race since the Vuelta and naturally, he has to get back into the rhythm but he was actually doing tremendously well considering,” said Tinkoff-Saxo director Fabrizio Guidi. “He had to close down a few gaps on the final slope but wasn’t in the final and crucial break. But he’s where he’s supposed to be physically. It was also great to have Roman [Kreuziger] back on the team. And even though he’s been away from racing since June, he worked hard for Alberto until hitting the foot of the final climb, and he finished in the bunch. Now, we’re looking forward to Giro di Lombardia.”

Katusha will start Sunday as the big favorite for the last one-day WorldTour race of the season, Il Lombardia, won by Rodríguez the last two years.

Full results.