WA cyclist Michael Storer has claimed victory in the Gran Premio Industrie del Marmo in Italy, riding for the Australian U23 road team.
Storer outsprinted teammate Lucas Hamilton (VIC) to deliver the Australian set up a 1-2 finish, continuing a fine European campaign for the team to date.
The duo were part of a group of 15 that formed early on the 174.7 kilometre race that splintered on the final of four climbs, setting up the result for the team. Storer’s fellow West Australian teammate, Jai Hindley took fourth place giving the team three riders in the top five.
After claiming the jersey in the 30th edition of the one-day race, Storer said it had been a memorable achievement.
"It's really special to win the race today especially being able to cross the line with Lucas. There's not many moments more special than that," Storer said.
"I've been really wanting to get a good result so I'm glad it all came together today, I've been training really hard for this and the tours coming up.
"I was confident it could stay away but there was a moment when it was less than two minutes with 70km to go where I wasn't so sure but we got the group to lift the tempo again," he added.
"I decided to attack early on the climb so we could make the most of it. We understand each other really well so Lucas went after me and no one followed.
"I managed to get away a bit later on and Lucas waited for me. We then worked really well together to the finish to make sure we could stay away."
On the opening lap, a group containing Storer, Hamilton and Hindley formed, that would ultimately determine the fate of the race.
With most of the big teams represented and the group working well together, they quickly built a three-minute advantage. Having missed the move, Team Colpack took to the front on the climb on lap two, quickly shaving more than a minute off the advantage of the break.
Despite the chase from behind the break continued to work well together and the gap didn't fall below two minutes. Another lap in the legs and continued pressure from the peloton saw the break start to splinter with four riders dropping off and the gap falling to one and a half minutes.
Having numbers in the break; Hamilton, Hindley and Storer took to the front, setting a ferocious pace up the climb pushing the gap back close to two minutes. Continuing the pressure on the descent, the break started the final lap with three minutes.
As the break hit the climb for the final time the gap Storer was the first to attack splitting the group with seven riders joining him. Hamilton countered the catch immediately and established a 30 second advantage. Sensing nobody could follow, Storer rode across to his teammate, with the duo cresting the summit with a one minute and 10 second advantage.
There was to be no stopping Hamilton and Storer on the fast downhill run to the finish as they built a lead of close to two minutes.
In the two-up sprint, Storer edged his teammate to claim his first and the team's fourth win of the season. One minute and 40 seconds back Hindley sprinted home behind Matic Groselj from a five-rider group to finish fourth. Narrowly missing the final podium spot and a lockout for the team.
"We have had an amazing season so far, we all keep improving as a team," Storer said of the team's successful season so far.
"It's exciting for the Tour of Ireland and the U23 Giro d'Italia coming up. Everyone is in really good condition so hopefully it keeps continuing as it has been."