Rémi Cavagna soloed to a spectacular victory on stage 1 of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, after displaying his strength on the hilly parcours around Riccione. His move was launched 37 kilometers from the finish, just as the peloton was preparing to tackle the Montescudo climb (6.6km, 3.7%) for the second and last time Tuesday afternoon.
Cavagna rode away from the bunch, picked up the remnants of the breakaway, and showing effortless power opened an impressive 1:40 gap by the time he crested the summit. Using his superb time trial skills, the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” flew down the descent, and entered the last ten kilometers with a full minute in his hands.
Despite the chasers getting organised behind him and further reducing his buffer on the flat roads of Riccione, nothing and no one could stop Rémi from taking the ninth pro win of his career, and a well-deserved one for that matter after a challenging 2022 season. The peloton arrived around half a minute later, and Mauro Schmid finished runner-up, making it a memorable 1-2 for Soudal Quick-Step.
“Coming into the race, the plan was to ride every stage as a one-day race. My goal at the start of the day was to try something in the last ten kilometers, but I sensed an opportunity on that final climb and just followed my instinct. Once I got a gap, I tried to keep the power and went all-in for the victory, as this really motivated me.”
“Having had a good start to the season I was confident at the start of the race, and this win will be a huge morale-boost. I’m happy for myself and I’m happy for Mauro too. We are good friends, and just the other day we were talking about trying to do something nice this week, so it was special to be joined by him on the podium. We have our win and now we’ll see what the next stages will bring”, added the first Frenchman in six years to take a stage at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.