Italian National Championships - CN

Italy, June 27-July 2, 2001

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Day 5 - July 1: Elite men road race

Nardello Captures Tricolore as Mapei dominates Italian Championships

By Tim Maloney, correspondent

Despite his '13' dossard, 28 year old Daniele Nardello (Mapei-Quick Step) of Varese powered to a solo win in the Italian Professional Championships in Carate Brianza today. Nardello made his move on the last ascent of the tough 4 km Lissolo climb with 17 km to go and rode home solo to the title. His Mapei-Quick Step teammate and defending Italian Pro Champion Michele Bartoli won the sprint for 2nd ahead of Daniele Di Paoli (Mercantone Uno-Stream TV).

Nardello, a favorite of Mapei owner Dr. Giorgio Squinzi has had a promising career up until now, but his maglia tricolore is a real confirmation of his talent. Twice, Nardello paved the way for his teamates Tafi ('98) and Bartoli ('00) to win Italian titles and today it was his turn. With a pro career that has among 22 wins three top 10 finishes in the Tour De France, a 4th place in the TT Worlds among other placings, Nardello had a bad crash in this year's Paris-Roubaix and just came back to racing in early June.

On a hot and sunny day, a large early break piloted by Marco Raedelli (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola) and Pietro Caucchioli (Alessio) grabbed an early lead of 3'30" in today's Italian Pro Championships, but Saeco pulled it back. With 2 laps of the difficult 34 km circuit to ride, a group of 50 were together up front and the Mapei and Fassa Bortolo rivalry was heating up. Lots of attacks and lead changes saw constant flux in the race situation, but as the race entered the last lap, Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo) made an attack and was joined by Di Paoli, Nardello and eventually Massimo Donati (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola).

The lead quartet quickly pulled away from the tired peloton and only a few other riders could bridge up; Bartoli and Nocentini (Mapei-Quick Step), Roberto Sgambelluri (Telekom) and Gianni Faresin (Liquigas-Pata). Everyone collaborated and quickly drew away from the shattered peloton and with 3 Mapei riders up front, the advantage was decidely theirs.

The Italian Professional Championships would be determined between these 7 riders and when Nardello made his decisive move, everyone else was racing for 2nd.

Results - 253 km

1 Daniele Nardello (Mapei Quick Step)              6.35.00 (38.43 km/h)
2 Michele Bartoli (Mapei Quick Step)                  0.32
3 Daniele De Paoli (Mercatone Uno Stream)
4 Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo)
5 Roberto Sgambelluri (Deutsche Telekom)
6 Gianni Faresin (Liquigas Pata)
7 Massimo Donati (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola)
8 Rinaldo Nocentini (Mapei Quick Step)
9 Cristian Auriemma (Alexia Alluminio)               3.30
10 Gianmatteo Fagnini (Deutsche Telekom)             7.28
11 Andrea Ferrigato (Alessio)
12 Mauro Radaelli (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola)
13 Nicola Loda (Fassa Bortolo)
14 Marco Magnani (Alexia Alluminio)
15 Paolo Bettini (Mapei Quick Step)
16 Cristian Gasperoni (Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone)
17 Mirko Celestino (Saeco Macchine per Caffè)
18 Gianluca Bortolami (Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola)
19 Luca Paolini (Mapei Quick Step)
20 Devis Miorin (Mobilvetta - Design Formaggi)
21 Alessandro Spezialetti (Cantina Tollo-Acqua&Sapone)
22 Alessandro Baronti (LA-Pecol)
23 Michele Colleoni (Team Colpack-Astro)
24 Cristiano Frattini (Liquigas-Pata)
25 Stefano Cattai (Liquigas-Pata)
26 Gianluca Tonetti (Selle Italia)
27 Leonardo Giordani (Fassa Bortolo)
28 Gianluca Valoti (Alexia Alluminio)
29 Gilberto Simoni (Lampre)
30 Fabio Testi (Jazztel-Costa del Almeria)
31 Ivan Gotti (Alessio)
32 Giuseppe Palumbo (De Nardi)
33 Luca Mazzanti (Fassa Bortolo)
34 Davide Rebellin (Liquigas)
35 Stefano Garzelli (Mapei)
36 Massimiliano Mori (Saeco)

Starters: 161
Finishers: 36