A frenetic finale with attacks flying from the gun brought a successful but tough Coppi e Bartali to a close for Rally Cycling. Gavin Mannion was the team’s top finisher taking 10th on the final stage and moving into the 10th spot on general classification as well.
Patrick McCarty has been directing the team all week and explained the day’s main events.
“It was a hectic day with Ineos trying to break it up on the first lap. Our small group sprinter, Nick Zukowsky, was caught out and never saw the front of the race after that. Luckily, Gavin is in amazing form and was on another great day. He was able to take care of himself until the final lap and bring home a nice result.”
Exciting sprint finale of the #CoppieBartali. Our @gavinmannion challenged for a top 10! Waiting to hear if he moved up on GC 😎 pic.twitter.com/b59Mw5jfxm
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) September 4, 2020
An eventful week in Italy
Mannion described Coppi e Bartali as a “brutal” race, with just two riders from Rally Cycling making it to the start this morning.
“It’s been a week of highs and lows,” explained McCarty. “We had some crashes, bad luck, and things that took a few guys out of the race.”
Despite things not going according to plan, Mannion impressed with his highest overall placing in a stage race of this category in his career.
“I’m super happy to finish top 10 in such a prestigious race,” added Mannion. “It’s without a doubt my best GC result in a race at this level in Europe. It was a good way to finish off a big block of racing here.”
The week started with a split stage, a road course in the morning followed by a TTT. Across both 1a and 1b, the team managed to keep the leaders, Deceuninck–Quick-Step within reach, with bigger and tougher stages to come later in the week.
A brutal, fast-paced circuit formed the bulk of stage 2, and Nathan Brown and Zukowsky were instrumental in delivering Mannion into a position where he could sprint for the stage, bagging ninth and consolidating his GC position.
Stage three presented the highest point of the race, tackling Monte Carpegna about halfway through the parcours. The ascent failed to create the sort of gaps that would shake things up on the GC, and from that point, it was unlikely any of the GC leaders would gain or lose time.
Today, Mannion navigated another testing hilly circuit stage, which was raced full gas from the first of six laps. He was able to sprint it out one final time to secure his second top 10 finish in the race. A nice ending to an otherwise challenging week for the team.
The men will now switch from stage race mode back to one-dayers as they prepare for the Antwerp Port Epic / Sels Trophy on September 13.
Stage 4 result
1 Pascal Eenkhoorn (Team Jumbo Visma)
2 Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)
3 Jhonatan Narvaez (Team Ineos Grenadiers)
4 Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Gazprom Rusvelo)
5 Andrea Pasqualon (Circus Wanty Gobert)
6 Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin Fenix)
7 Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck Quick Step)
8 Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabù KTM)
9 Arjen Livyns (Bingoal WB)
10 Gavin Mannion (Rally Cycling)
Final general classification
1 Jhonatan Narvaez (Team Ineos Grenadiers)
2 Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck Quick Step) at 1 ”
3 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quick Step) at 17″
10 Gavin Mannion (Rally Cycling)