Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) just missed out on a podium place at the tough one-day Italian race Giro dell’Emilia today, finishing in fourth place, 19″ behind solo winner Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
Visconti launched his winning move 16 kilometres before the finish line on the second-to-last lap and eventually gained 30 seconds on the chase group behind. Roche was part of that chase group which also included Visconti’s team-mate Vincenzo Nibali, Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), Gianni Moscon (Team Sky), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).
Roche’s team-mate Alessandro De Marchi led the chase on the descent and run into the final climb to the line with 3.5 kilometres to go and on the ascent, Roche held his ground, positioned in the front ten riders.
As the group began to split and Visconti looked set to take the win, Roche attacked in the final 600 metes but was overtaken by Nibali and Uran just before the line and had to settle for fourth place.
“It was a good test after the UCI World Championships and before Il Lombardia,” said Roche. “When Giovanni Visconti went, I thought he could maybe stay away. Bahrain Merida had a really strong team and they did a smart move by sending him up the road.
“It took a long time for teams to react and once he opened a gap, it was too late. He did well to keep it up as it was a long way out. Then Alessandro De Marchi took control of the chase in the last few kilometres when the crash happened. The team did a good job to position me well for the final climb. I hung in there when Vincenzo Nibali and Gianni Moscon went.
“I was happy with how today went. The climbs in Emilia are the climbs I enjoy, 2km and steep, just the way I like them. I was a bit worried doing it five times in a row. But the way the race went we did a steady pace and then flat out on the final climb, so the racing today suited me. I’m feeling good ahead of Il Lombardia.”