Rally Cycling had a battle on their hands at the Trofeo Matteotti, a 195 km one-day race that took place over 13 laps of a hilly circuit in Pescara, Italy on Saturday. Nathan Brown took control of the peloton going into the final laps to keep a dangerous breakaway within reach which allowed Gavin Mannion to bridge to the front group on the final climb. In the end, Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) escaped for the win while Mannion sprinted it out for 12th place from a chasing group a mere 13 seconds down.
“The circuit was pretty crazy,” said Mannion. “There’s never a dull moment in an Italian one day race! It seemed like we were either climbing or descending or cornering all day. It was super hot too, but the team did a great job keeping Nick Zukowsky and I hydrated and out of the wind.”
Like many of the Italian one-day races that the team has competed in, they are extremely hard to predict. The peloton was unable to control the constant attacks in the final laps, but the team stayed cool under difficult conditions.
“It was a war of attrition out there,“ described Mannion. “We decided to save Nick and me for the end of the race. Nick was gambling on a small group sprint whereas I had some freedom to be aggressive. On the last lap, Nate did the work of five guys to keep the breakaway in check and luckily I was able to get across on one of the steeper climbs. From there it was a bit of a roll of the dice and the sprint was a bit chaotic but I’m happy with the result.”
On Sunday, the team will race the 200 km Memorial Marco Pantani to cap off their trio of Italian one-days.
“Marco Pantani has some longer climbs in the middle and then a flat finish so I think we’ll have to be ready for anything again,” added Mannion. “The team looks great and we’ll have some cards to play.”
1 CONTI Valerio – UAE-Team Emirates 4:58:07
2 RUBIO Diego – Burgos-BH +00:01
3 SAVINI Daniel – Bardiani-CSF-Faizane +00:04
4 VELASCO Simone – Gazprom-RusVelo +00:13
5 ALBANESE Vincenzo – Bardiani-CSF-Faizane “
6 LIVYNS Arjen – Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles “
7 FINETTO Mauro – NIPPO DELKO One Provence “
8 TOTO Paolo – Work Service Dynatek Vega “
9 BAKELANTS Jan – Circus-Wanty Gobert “
10 SERRANO Gonzalo – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA “
12 MANNION Gavin – Rally Cycling “