Van Aert sprints to victory in Coppa Bernocchi
Wout van Aert has won the Coppa Bernocchi. After more than 180 kilometres, the Belgian leader of Team Jumbo-Visma proved to be the strongest of the group of favourites in the Italian semi-classic. It was Van Aert's fifth victory of the season.
After Primoz Roglic proved the strongest in the Giro dell'Emilia on Saturday, Team Jumbo-Visma had another strong team in one of the autumn races on Italian soil. The first edition of the Coppa Bernocchi took place in 1913. In the more than 100 editions that have followed, no less than 89 times an Italian has won, including legends Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
The Jumbo-Visma riders controlled the race. As they increased the pace, ten riders broke away from the peloton. Among them was Van Aert, with teammates Tiesj Benoot and Jan Tratnik. The latter two positioned Van Aert for the sprint, and the Belgian ensured that no Italian would stand on the top step of the podium for the 90th time in the history of the one-day classic. Van Aert's victory marked the 64th victory of the season for Team Jumbo-Visma.
"The feeling of winning is wonderful”, a delighted Van Aert said. "We took the initiative right from the start. It made our plans clear. My teammates did a great job, so I had to make sure I would finish off the team's good work. I started my sprint early and sprinted to the line. In the end, I was the strongest.”
"This victory is for the people who keep believing in me"
"This victory is for the people who keep believing in me and work day and night to get the best out of me. I think of the home front, my teammates and my coach, Marc Lamberts, for example. This season is not the best of my career regarding the number of wins, but I have no negative feelings about it. It is incredibly satisfying to reward the team's work with a victory. It is the most satisfying feeling there is. I am happy to end my season this week in Italy in good spirits and circumstances.”