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4th Mercatone Uno - Memorial Pantani - 1.1
Cesenatico, Italy, June 9, 2007
Pellizotti packs a punch
Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) has won the fourth edition of the Mercatone Uno - Memorial Pantani by out-sprinting his breakaway companion Luca Mazzanti (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) in the final metres on the slightly uphill run-in to the finish.
The memorial race is held each year in the vicinities of Cesenatico and Cesena, where Marco Pantani lived most of his life. This area next to the Adriatic sea offers plenty of good riding, and climbs like the one up nearby San Marino ensure good training grounds for a climber like Pantani was.
Before the race got underway Pantani's parents, several locals, including kids from the Pantani racing club, and Danilo Di Luca put down flowers in front of the Pantani memorial in Cesenatico that honours his life.
The race, which was held under perfect weather conditions, started with lots of attacks early on, and eventually a break of 24 riders formed. At km 130 attacks from within whittled down the group to eleven riders, including the two Liquigas favourites, Franco Pellizotti and Vincenzo Nibali.
The decisive move came with 20km to go, when Pellizotti attacked on the slopes of the Montevecchio. Only Luca Mazzanti could follow the vicious acceleration and the two crested the top together with a good advantage over the breakaway group.
They were working well together and reached the finishing straight in Cesena with a lead of more than half a minute. Mazzanti did not have a chance in the two-up sprint against the experienced Pellizotti.
Pasquale Muto (Miche) got the last remaining podium spot, 38 seconds back, while Nibali finished in sixth, a little over two minutes back. Danilo Di Luca did not finish the race and managed to get to the finishing area before the sprint so he could cheer on his teammates.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
1 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 4.17.15 2 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Ceramica Panaria Navigare 3 Pasquale Muto (Ita) Miche 0.38 4 Jure Golcer (Slo) Tenax 0.50 5 Massimo Giunti (Ita) Miche 6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 2.10 7 Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni Selle Italia 8 Luca Solari (Ita) Team L.P.R. 9 Luca Pierfelici (Ita) Aurum Hotels 10 Massimiliano Maisto (Ita) OTC Doors Lauretana 11 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Tenax 12 Manuele Spadi (Ita) Ceramica Flaminia 9.27 13 Gianluca Coletta (Ita) Cinelli Endeka 14 Hubert Krys (Pol) Ceramica Flaminia 15 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 16 Marco Fabbri (Ita) Aurum Hotels 17 Eddy Serri (Ita) Miche 9.30 18 Santo Anza (Ita) Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni Selle Italia 19 Marco Osella (Ita) Kio Ene-Tonazzo-Dmt 20 Francesco Tizza (Ita) OTC Doors Lauretana 21 Alessandro Maserati (Ita) Team L.P.R. 22 Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) Tenax 23 Vladislav Borisov (Rus) Team Universal Caffe' - Ecopetrol 12.00 24 Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Mapamap-Bantprofi 25 Benjamin Baumgartner (Swi) Atlas-Romer's Hausbackerei 13.00
2006 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 2005 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre Caffita 2004 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Saeco