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United States | Southeast | Virginia >> Team Raleigh's Alexandre Blain stripped of Granfondo Milan Sanremo win - because he's a pro

Team Raleigh's Alexandre Blain stripped of Granfondo Milan Sanremo win - because he's a pro

Frenchman was first over line in event following course of cycling's longest Classic - but it's only open to amateurs

UK Team Raleigh's Alexandre Blain has been stripped of his victory in the Granfondo Milan Sanremo Ciclituristico, the Italian event that follows the route of the longest one-day race on the calendar, after it emerged he is a professional rider. The team has said that the event was not part of his programme, and that the rider, who was understood to be recovering from injury in his native France, took part in it without his knowledge.

Organisers announced  that following checks carried out in partnership with judges from Italy’s national governing body, the FCI, it had disqualified the 32-year-old Frenchman.

The former Cofidis and Endura Racing rider was a winner of a round of the UK's Tour Series in Southport in 2010, and his other victories include the overall in the Tour de Normandie in 2011 and the UK Rutland-Melton Cicle Classic in 2012.

UC Sanremo, which organises the Granfondo Milan Sanremo Ciclituristico, noted that this year he won a stage of the Tour de Normandie, where he also took the points competition.

The win has been awarded to Gianmario Rovaletti of Team Chiappucci, although it’s a shame he was denied enjoying victory on a course that every young Italian cyclist grows up dreaming of winning on.