Vasyl Matviychuk wins at the Ponte in Fiore (Lorenzo Sampoalo)
Baldini ‘undecided’ about plans; Matviychuk wins at 30th Ponte in Fiore
Thursday 26 April 2007

Valtellina, Italy - Vasyl Matviychuk from Ukraine won the traditional Ponte in Fiore 8 km road race in Ponte in Valtellina in Northern Italy, a race which celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday (25).

The former European 10,000 metres and cross country champion, who lives and trains for most of the year in Italy, won the race held traditionally on 25 April adding his name to the list of past winners of the Ponte in Fiore which includes Francesco Panetta, Gennaro Di Napoli, Jonathan Wyatt and Wilson Businei. 

Stefano Baldini (ITA)
(Getty Images)
Matviychuk went to the front forming a four-men group with Geoffrey Kusuro and Moses Aliwa from Uganda and Elijah Nyabuti from Kenya in the first of four laps of a challenging mountain course.

The leading group opened up a solid gap on the chasing pack formed by the best italians: Daniele Meucci (sixth at the recent European Cup 10,000 metres), cross country specialist Gabriele De Nard and former 3000 metres European Cup winner Salvatore Vincenti.

At the beginning of the last lap Matviychuk launched his attack dropping the Africans. The runner from Ukraine broke the tape in 23:40 beating Kusuro by four seconds. Third was Moses Aliwa in 23:47 ahead of Elijah Nyabuti and Salvatore Vincenti.

“I have already competed here twice, so I know the course very well. It is a difficult race because the course is full of ups and downs. The warm day made the race very tough. I managed to drop the Africans on a uphill section in the last lap when I saw that they were slowing down. Now I will run the Trecastagni race on 1 May.” said Matviychuk.

VIPs...Baldini, Cova, Di Napoli

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their race the organizers invited reigning Olympic and European marathon champion Stefano Baldini, the former World, Olympic, and European 10,000m champion Alberto Cova and former World indoor 3000m champion Gennaro Di Napoli (three times winner of the Ponte in Fiore in 1996, 1997 and 1998), as special VIP guests.

Baldini unsure about Osaka after London drop-out

Baldini is now taking a period of rest after dropping out of the London Marathon at 28 km after suffering from cramps.

“It’s a difficult period for me but I remain positive. London was a setback for me. I had no more strength at 28 km and as a consequence I began suffering from cramps. I have not decided about my future plans. I will discuss with my coach Lucio Gigliotti about the possibility to compete in Osaka or not this summer,” said Baldini.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

Results

Ponte in Fiore 8km road race
1. Vasyl Matviychuk (Ukraine)  23:40
2. Geoffrey Kusuro (Uganda) 23:44
3. Moses Aliwa (Uganda)  23:47
4. Elijah Nyabuti (Kenya)  23:50
5. Salvatore Vincenti (Italy) 23:56
6 Daniele Meucci (Italy)  23:58
7. Gabriele De Nard (Italy)  24:02
8. Danilo Goffi (Italy)  24:14