David Gaudu had a great ride to set Thibaut Pinot for victory at Milano-Torino on Wednesday. However, a mishap in the final will come to define Pinot’s victory at the Italian Classic.
Pinot outclimbed a select group to win Milano-Torino ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez and world champion Alejandro Valverde. The race had exploded on the final Superga climb and the young Frenchman was setting the pace to set his teammate up. Lopez had the best legs in the group and just as Gaudu slowed to pull off, Lopez prepared to launch an attack. Gaudu pulled off at the same time and failed to see Lopez. Lopez was looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was following his move and crashed into Gaudu.
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The crash put separation between Pinot and Valverde. With the Colombian now picking himself off the pavement, the Frenchman attacked. Lopez was fast remounting his bike and took off in pursuit but Pinot’s legs were good enough to hold him off to take the win.
The accidental crash of Pinot’s chief rival helped him seal what will surely be a controversial win. Otherwise, the race was exciting and shows many of the top riders for Saturday’s Il Lombardia are coming into fine form.