Colbrelli leaves Evenepoel without gold in a brilliant European

Italy continues with its love affair with the Europeans. For the fourth consecutive edition, and with four different riders, a transalpine won the gold medal. In 2018 it was Matteo Trentin, in 2019 Elia Viviani took over, with Giacomo Nizzolo taking the baton in 2020 … and this time it was Sonny Colbrelli’s turn. He came to the test as one of the favorites, and he delivered. At 31 years old, he is in the best season of his career, due to his triumphs … and because of the rivals he won. This time it was Remco Evenepoel, one of the great animators of the race, who caused the final cut and ended up very upset at the finish line, including short sleeves.

The Spanish had no option to fight for the metals. After the poor performance in the Tokyo Games and the absence of victories in the grand tours in 2021, the inertia remains the same. Hopefully at the end of this month I can change the trend in the World Cup in Flanders (Belgium). It was a very lively test from the beginning, with 179 kilometers, most of them on a circuit that had the ascent to Povo (3.6 km at 4.9%), as the main difficulty. However, before entering this route, the race was already unleashed by the movements of France and Spain. Antonio Jesús Soto was part of an initial escape to which they did not give margin.

The Cortinas, Landa, Gorka Izagirre and company were in the main group … but when the attacks happened, they lost contact. Bardet, Campenaerts, Mohoric … the movements followed one another, until the final one was formed, with Pogacar among them. Sivakov, Hoelgaard, Evenepoel, Colbrelli, Trentin, Pogacar, Hirschi, Cosnefroy and Hermans formed the group of nine that would play the metals, but there was still a long way to go. It was 22 km away when one of the great protagonists during the day, and also the most closely watched, launched his biggest attack of the day: Remco Evenepoel.

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The Italian Colbrelli and the French Cosnefroy came to his wheel, the three assets of these countries for this appointment. Remco, very generous and at his own pace, advanced with his two rivals on the wheel, without relays. At 11 km from the end, Cosnefroy took off, but Colbrelli did not. The Belgian knew that if he did not pick up the Italian on the final climb to Povo, he would have fewer options when sprinting. So it was. On the cobblestone ground of Trento, Colbrelli took better the tight final curves and beat an angry Evenepoel, who with an unfriendly face cut the sleeves at the finish line from the ground. He wasn’t happy with his breakaway partner, but the Italian played his tricks better. Cosnefroy completed the podium and Trentin, fourth, arrived celebrating his teammate’s triumph. One of the best tests of this championship, and Spain only continues with the bronze of Dani Moreno in 2016 as the only medal in this event.

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