Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Sky) won the Giro del Piemonte in Italy on Thursday from a late escape group.
The Olympic road race silver medallist continued his run of form with a strong sprint from the break to take the win in Biella ahead of Italian Luca Paolini (Katusha) and Spaniard Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Uran now goes into Satuday’s final European WorldTour race – the Tour of Lombardy – as one of the favourites alongside newly-crowned world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing). Gilbert did not take part in the Giro del Piemonte, instead electing to give his rainbow jersey its first competitive airing at Lombardy.
Gilbert won the Giro del Piemonte in 2009 and 2010 before winning the Tour of Lombardy on both occasions.
Giro del Piemonte 2012: 188km
1. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky
2. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha at 4 secs
3. Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky at 11secs
5. Carlos Betancur (Col) Aqua & Sapone
6. Mauro Santimbrogio (Ita) BMC all same time
7. Daniele Benati (Ita) BMC at 27secs
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
10. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana all same time
Uran sprints to win on the cobbles
Paolini, Uran and Verdugo