Two wins in two weeks. Kenyan Edwin Soi is really on fire on the roads, after missing the IAAF World Championships in Berlin on the track. The reigning Olympic bronze medallist in the 5000m took the honours in the Giro al Sas, a historical 10km road race in the center of Trento on Saturday (10), two weeks after winning the Memorial Peppe Greco in Scicli.
Like in the Sicily race, Soi waited until the last of the 10 laps to make his decisive move. He closed with a time of 29:25 and out-sprinted his countryman Mark Bett and Uganda's Wilson Busienei. Twenty-two year-old Andrea Lalli was the first home-favourite at the finish line, finishing in sixth place, while former Olympic Marathon champion Stefano Baldini closed in a disappointing 10th.
Until the fourth lap the race went very quiet (12:13 the split). In the fifth lap a prize dedicated to deceased local journalist Ottone "Bill" Cestari put the race on fire. The lap was covered in 2:50 and Busienei was the first to cross the line. After that a pack of six took the lead: Soi, Busienei, Bett, Lalli, another Kenyan Isaac Tanui and eight times European Cross Country champion, Ukraine's Sergiy Lebid.
In the ninth lap the pace increased much more, with a 2:49 split. Lalli began to fade and lost contact from the first five. In the last lap Soi was able to drop everybody else as a very heavy rain began to fall on Trento. Lebid was fourth, ahead of Tanui.
Baldini tried to keep in touch with the leading pack, but he later suffered from the effort, eventually passed by many runners who usually don't beat him.
"This is my shape right now," he said after the race. "I'm now going to work hard for my last two races of the year, the Ekiden in Chiba and the Great Australian Run in Melbourne on 29 November." In Melbourne he will face the man who won the Marathon in Beijing, Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru.
"This was an important test for me, after a month of work at altitude at home," said Lalli. In a couple of weeks he will fly to Iten, Kenya, to train for 20 days with some of the strongest runners of the world. His next goal is the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin on 13. Lalli is the reigning under-23 European champion. Alberto Zorzi for the IAAF
Results (10km) 1. Edwin Soi Cheruiyot, KEN, 29:25 2. Mark Bett, KEN, 29:28 3. Wilson Busienei, UGA, 29:30 4. Sergiy Lebid, UKR, 29:31 5. Isaac Tanui, KEN, 29:36 6. Andrea Lalli, ITA, 29:42 7. Stefano La Rosa, ITA, 29:51 8. Migidio Bourifa, ITA, 29:58 9. Gabriele De Nard, ITA, 30:00 10. Stefano Baldini, ITA, 30:05