Despite a course that includes eight ascensions of the 8-km Piccolo Stelvio climb, the Coppa Bernocchi traditionally ends in a sprint, so Team SpiderTech developed a race strategy focused on supporting sprinters Guillaume Boivin and Martin Gilbert.
With higher than expected attrition on the circuit, only Boivin, Bjorn Selander and Francois Parisien were in contention in the finale.
Selander rode impressively in his first race since an injury sidelined him in May, and Parisien worked hard to follow attacks and close gaps.
In the end it all came down to positioning for Boivin, who started his sprint from too far back and could only manage 17th.
“We don’t get a lot of chances at the win here in Europe,” said Boivin. “So, I’m really disappointed. I felt good today and just made some positioning mistakes in the sprint.”
Team SpiderTech will be racing again tomorrow in the Coppa Agostoni – Giro della Brianza, still in Italy.
“Today was tough, but that is biking,” said team director Kevin Field.
“We were motivated today. Tomorrow we’ll change up the plan a bit. The races get hillier and we’ll have to be opportunists.”