• Alberto Giuriato (L), Rob Stannard (C) and Samuele Battistella (R) (Mitchelton-BikeExchange)Source: Mitchelton-BikeExchange
Australian Rob Stannard won the GP Sportivi di Poggiana and looks strong ahead of the Tour de L'Avenir.
Cycling Central

13 Aug 2018 - 11:35 AM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2018 - 11:43 AM

The 19-year-old won the two-up dash to the line over Alberto Giuriato (Team-Friuli) in the Australian's first race since the baby Giro in June where he won the ITT and finished third overall. 

His Mitchelton-Bike Exchange team mates controlled the race over the challenging 169kms around Poggiana perfectly with Harry Sweeny and Kaden Groves working hard at the front of the main bunch over steep ramps like the 20 per cent gradient section of the Muro di Crespignaga, to bring the breakaway closer. 

In the final kilometres, Callum Scotson and Sam Jenner were the last two with Stannard as he then attacked out of the bunch, bridging across to the remains of the break with six others. He marked the ensuing attacks and picked the right time to pounce. 

"I am really happy to have won this race," Stannard said. "It’s a tough event, but we played to our strengths well today and the guys rode brilliantly to set me up at the front going onto the last climbs.”

“There were lots of attacks on the flat sections of the course and we chose crucial moments in the race to put the pressure on the breakaway and make sure we were in the best position at the front.

“I attacked on the penultimate climb and took two guys with me and we made it over to the remnants of the break. My legs didn’t feel great at the start, but they did as we went into the final and I decided to go from around 400 metres out. It feels really good and it’s a positive way to go into the Tour de l’Avenir on the back of a race win."

Stannard looks strong ahead of the prestigious under 23 race, the 10-stage Tour de L'Avenir starting later this week. Egan Bernal, Team Sky's star debutant won last year's edition. 

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