Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar puts in solid comeback shift in Italy

Posted on: February 12th, 2018

Having crashed hard early last summer, a healthy Eddie Dunbar returned to racing in Italy yesterday. It was a challenging race of over 200km; his first with Aqua Blue Sport. Above, the race was won by Moreno Moser.

 

Eddie Dunbar Aqua Blue Sport debut in Trofeo Laigueglia

 

After successes enjoyed in Australia and the Middle East in recent weeks, Italy proved more testing for Aqua Blue Sport yesterday.

The Irish ProContinental team was riding the one-day Trofeo Laigueglia. It split to pieces after on hard day’s racing, with most of the field being pulled out on the finishing circuits.

Young Irish recruit Eddie Dunbar was making a welcome return to racing.

On a day when just one quarter of the 160-rider field finished; it was a very testing comeback race for the 21-year-old.

And he must wait a little longer and build his condition more before he hits the kind of form that won him the U23 Tour of Flanders last year.

But still the first glimpses of Dunbar’s metal were on show yesterday. He made it into the chase group at the business end of the race when the field was disintegrating.

The 203.7km contest saw an early escape group go clear and gain over nine minutes.

In that move were Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence), Francesco Bettini (d’Amico-Utensilnord) and Audun Brekke Fløtten (Team Virtu Cycling).

The escape group would whittle down; Bettini the first to sit up. The others fell by the wayside before Fares was left alone leading.

 

 

The race would finish on a circuit. It was negotiated four times with two climbs on the loop.

A crash in the peloton resulted in a significant split as the race neared the finishing laps. Calvin Watson was in the front of Aqua Blue Sport, along with 13 others.

Eventual winner Moreno Moser, riding for the Italian national team, would get across. The front group swelled to 18 by the time the finishing circuit was reached.

Eddie Dunbar and team mate Larry Warbasse were behind in a chase group.

The large group of chasers rode hard in an effort to get back on. As a result of the pressure, and the climbs, that group would further split.

However, the spoils would be shared by those out front. Moser waited until the last climb before attacking solo to win.

The Astana rider took victory by an impressive 43 seconds from Paolo Totò (Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-Vega).

He won the sprint for 2nd from a 10-man group. Matteo Busato (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) was 3rd.

Warbasse finished in the fourth group on the road; in 37th place some 4:40 back. He as Aqua Blue Sport’s sole finisher.

 

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