The "TGV de Clermont-Ferrand", arrived in Italy with ambitions for the general classification, went on a counter-attack more than forty kilometers from the line when the peloton took back a group of five breakaways.

This time trial rider then dropped the Belgian Lennert Teugels, the last survivor of this initial breakaway, and resisted alone in front to maintain a little more than 30 seconds ahead at the finish in Riccione, on the Adriatic coast, on his Swiss teammate of Soudal-Quickstep Mauro Schmid (2nd) and the Dutchman Rick Pluimers (3rd).

Cavagna's first road race victory in almost two years and his victory at the Road France Championships in June 2021 perfectly launches an Italian week, which will conclude on Saturday with an individual time trial tailored for him (18.6km).

"This time is the goal of the coming week. So the goal will be to get there without a hitch and being placed in the general, "explained the rider before the race, quoted by La Montagne.

Until then, "these are stages not too difficult but never flat either," he added, hoping in particular "to be spared bad luck during the 3rd stage (Thursday, editor's note) which takes place partly on paths like Strade Bianche".

Classification of the 1st stage of the International Coppi-Bartali Week:

1. Remi Cavagna (FRA/Soudal-Quickstep), the 161.8 km in 4 h 03 min 03 sec, an average of 39.942 km/h

2. Mauro Schmid (SUI/Soudal-Quickstep), at 32.

3. Rick Pluimers (NED/Tudor), m.t.

4. Loe Van Belle (NED/Jumbo Visma), m.t.

5. Natnael Tesfatsion (ERI/Trek Segafrdo), m.t

© 2023 AFP