Cycling: Roberto Cunico shone in the Italian Dolomites over the weekend to snag his maiden win at the Marcialonga Cycling Craft.
The event took place last Sunday in the Trentino region and the Vicenza rider kept his competition at bay on the 135k course over the three passes of Lavazé, San Pellegrino and Valles. On the women's side, Astrid Deutscher Schartmueller took the lead and drove home a lights-to-flag victory.
Early in the morning around 2200 cyclists from 16 nations gathered in Predazzo to set out on the 80 and 135 kilometer route through Trentino. After initially going through villages like Ziano di Fiemme, Cavalese and San Lugano, the favorites of the day like Dainius Kairelis, Andrea Pontalto, Jarno Varesco, Luigi Salimbeni, Emanuele Poeta, Matteo Bordignon, Matteo Podestà, Domenico Romano and Roberto Cunico drove a gap and together they attacked the nine-kilometer climb to the Lavazé Pass (1.805 m asl). Up to the center of Predazzo, it was a neck-and-neck race between Salimbeni and Pontalto that ultimately brought victory.
Those who tackled the long route rode two more passes, the San Pellegrino and the Valles. At the top of the San Pellegrino Pass, Roberto Cunico was 20 seconds ahead of his pursuers Podestà, Varesco, Romano, Poeta and Riccardo Corbetta. On the following descent and the final climb to Pass Valles, Domenico Romano fought his way back to the top and took the lead. However, during the final downhill duel back to the city center, it started to rain heavily. Cunico drove as if on rails and was the first to reach the town centre. Podestà and Romano followed a minute later.