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Nans Peters (Ag2r-Citroën) battled through slashing rain to solo to victory Wednesday at the Trofeo Laigueglia in Italy.
Rain and cool temperatures made this year’s edition especially challenging for the 20 starting teams in the Italian semi-classic.
Ag2r-Citroën had numbers in the final select group, and Peters hit the final circuit nursing a one-minute-plus lead on a chasing group that also featured two Ag2r jerseys.
Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) led the final chase with 9km to go, with Jefferson Cepeda (EF Education-EasyPost) hitching a ride. Peters topped out on the final climb with 45 seconds and fought to stay upright on the wet and slick roads.
Andrea Vendrame came through second for Ag2r, with Covi repeating his third from last year to round out the podium.
Peters hit the final 5km on the flats with enough rope to tie up the victory, only his third in his pro career. His other two wins were one stage at the Tour de France, and another at the Giro d’Italia.
Now in its 60th edition, the 201km race is the traditional opener of the Italian calendar. Former winners include mostly Italians, but Ron Kiefel won the race in 1985, a victory that proved that the 7-Eleven team could race and win against the top European pros.
The undulating course loops over the hills above the Italian Riviera, and the peloton usually busts into pieces over a climb-heavy finishing circuit.
Racing in Italy hits high gear with this weekend’s Strade Bianche and continues with Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-San Remo, and Trofeo Alfredo Binda this month.
Results powered by FirstCycling.com