Show of strength from the UAE: Four men in the top ten
Davide Formolo (UAE Team) celebrates winning the Agostoni Cup.. | Photo: Cor Foss
September 28, 2023 | (rsn) – Davide Formolo (Team UAE) won the 76th edition of the Agostoni Cup (1.1) as a soloist. After 195.7 kilometers in Lissoni, the Italian won by 32 seconds over his teammate Marc Hirschi. In the final, both of them pulled away one by one from a leading five-man group at the start, with Victor Lavay (Cofidis) racing to third ahead of Warren Bargiel (Arkia-Samsic) and Chris Harper (Jaico-AlUla). 51 seconds behind Formula.
With Diego Ulissi in sixth place (+1:31) and defending champion Sword Bucks (+3:28) in eighth place, the UAE team brought two more riders into the top ten.
Formolo and five other riders had already started the final, about 60 kilometers away. The Italian pulled out of the increasingly smaller peloton with Barguil, Harper and Lafay as well as Ivan Garcia Cortina (Movistar) and Clément Berthet (AG2R – Citroën). After just over ten kilometers, first Cortina and then Berthet lost contact. They both rejoined the group of about a dozen people around Hershey, who was only 20 seconds behind at this point.
With 36 kilometers remaining, Hirschi launched his attack from the chasing pack and drove quickly to the front, such that with 30 kilometers remaining, five men were leading the race and were now 40 seconds ahead of the chasers. There were repeated attacks at the back, but Pax and Olisey blocked the attacks and so the chasing group were unable to move forward.
The lead of the leading quintet had grown to one minute and it seemed that the decision had been made: the five men in front would decide the victory among themselves. Eleven kilometers from the finish, Formolo launched his attack, and although Lafay jumped at the start, none of the three rivals could eventually catch him – and of course Hirschi didn’t want to.
The Swiss then rode at the back of the pack for ten kilometres, then pulled away in the last 1.5 kilometers and finished second. At this point, Formolo had a half-minute lead and the win could no longer be taken away from him.
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