Italy’s Colbrelli defies wind, rain to win Gran Piemonte

Sonny Colbrelli won the Gran Piemonte. (AFP pic)

MILAN: Italian Sonny Colbrelli of the Bahrain-Merida team defied the wind and rainy conditions to win a sprint finish for the Gran Piemonte semi-classic in northern Italy on Thursday.

The heavy rain made conditions treacherous with falls leaving the peloton depleted as it approached the finish line at Stupinigi outside Turin after the 191-kilometre race.

Colbrelli made a break with 350 metres to go, clocking a final time of four hours, 20 minutes, and 50 seconds, finishing ahead of France’s Florian Sénéchal (Quick-Step Floors) and Italian Davide Ballerini (Androni), who finished second and third respectively at the same time.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better way to close my season, exactly with a victory like it started in Dubai,” said 28-year-old Colbrelli.

“I like bad weather. When I had space, I launched the long sprint and I thought ‘I’m going to take a chance’. The most important thing before the sprint was to not slip.”

“It was very dangerous, there were crashes, but when it’s wet, it’s always like that.”

The cycling season concludes on Saturday with the Tour of Lombardy, the final of the five Momument classics, from Bergamo to Como in northern Italy.