Betancur: Held off his rivals in testing race in Bologna for biggest win of career so far Acqua & Sapone rider Carlos Betancur battled to a narrow victory at the Giro dell’Emilia in Bologna on Saturday. The Colombian jumped clear on the fifth and final climb of San Luca, eventually crossing the line 24 seconds clear of Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) who edged Rigoberto Urán (Team Sky) for third.It was a first professional win for Betancur who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Thursday.The front group had been whittled down to around 30 riders with just over two of the 10 kilometres finishing circuits remaining in the 200km one-day race.Betancur and Oliver Zaugg (Leopard Trek) then moved clear of their rivals on the penultimate ascent, which ramped up to 18% in places, opening up a 20 seconds advantage.And it was on the climb up to the finish that Betancur dropped Zaugg and had enough of an advantage to hold off the rest.The day had earlier seen a five-man break go clear after just 20km, with Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Sergio Laganà (De Rosa), Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese), Luca Solari (Androni Giocattoli) and Alexander Zdanov (D’Angelo & Antenucci) stretching their advantage to a maximum of eight minutes and 26 seconds.That was just 47km into the race though and the gap steadily fell from that point onwards, so much so that by the second time the field headed up San Luca the escape bid was all but over.The Giro dell’Emilia marks an important stepping stone ahead of the ‘race of the falling leaves’, the Giro di Lombardia which rounds off the season in style next Saturday.Before then an indentical Team Sky squad of Kjell Carlström, Simon Gerrans, Thomas Löfkvist, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Morris Possoni, Michael Rogers, Urán and Xabier Zandio will take in the GP Bruno Beghelli on Sunday.

Betancur’s Italian job