By VeloNews Interactive
Italian Franco Pellizotti (Alessio-Bianchi) won the hilly, chilly GP di Chiasso on Saturday as the Swiss racing season opened in near-freezing temperatures with the remnants of a recent snowfall on the roadside.
The 166km course began with seven circuits of 12km each, followed by five trips around a 16km loop that extended and enhanced the day’s climbing. A seven-man group escaped on the third lap and built a margin of 1:35 before Viktor Rapinski (Navigators) bridged up near the end of the fourth lap. The foursome stayed away until the first of the large circuits, where the field swept them up and promptly disintegrated in a flurry of attacks that saw a 10-man break crest the hill ahead of a 40-rider chase group.
Both groups shed men as the chase drove on until the final lap, when Pellizotti and Leonardo Bertagnoli (Saeco) shot clear of the front group to finish 1-2, 13 seconds in front of Cedric Vasseur (Cofidis), who took the final podium spot.
GP di Chiasso
1. Franco Pellizotti (I) Alessio-Bianchi, 166km in 4.14:35
2. Leonardo Bertagnoli (I) Saeco, same time
3 Cedric Vasseur (F) Cofidis, at 0:13
4. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0: 22
5. Ivan Fanelli (I), Amore & Vita, at 0:24
6. Mauro Zinetti (I), Vini Caldirola, same time
7. Mirko Celestino (I), Saeco, s.t.
8. Markus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, s.t.
9. Beat Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, s.t.
10. Rinaldo Nocentini (I), Acqua e Sapone, s.t.