Posts tagged ‘Napolitano’
Italian Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) is moving closer to his dream of winning
. He looks ahead to next season and another chance at winning Italy’s biggest one-day sprinters’ classic.
“Sanremo was a dream of mine when I was younger and saw Mario Cipollini winning on the Via Roma. Now I am there racing, and I have the possibility to realise that dream,” Napolitano told Tuttobiciweb.
He placed fifth in 2006 and 11th in 2007, and this year’s results show he can be back at the top next year. He won four times this season and 11 times finished second.
“It has been a positive year,” he continued. “It would have been better to have turned some of those second places into wins, but I am happy nonetheless. I will try for more in 2010.”
Napolitano shares the role as sprint captain on Russia’s Katusha team with Aussie Robbie McEwen and 2006 Sanremo winner, Italian Filippo Pozzato. The trio accounted for 11 of Katusha’s wins this season.
Italian sprinter has extended his contract with Team Katusha through 2011, the team announced Monday. Team director Andrei Tchmil was satisfied with the Sicilian’s performance this season. Napolitano won four races this year – one stage each in the Ruta del Sol, Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Settimana Coppi e Bartali and Tour of Luxembourg. He has also been the primary lead-out man for Robbie McEwen. “He showed his quality and he was able to take the responsibility when it was needed,” said Tchmil. “We also knew his good character and we appreciated it.” “I’m happy to renewal my contract with Team Katusha,” said Napolitano. “I found a good team and thanks to it I was be able to get good results. I hope to continue to improve so I can thank them for the confidence they’ve shown.”
Danilo Napolitano (Team Katusha) won the opening 157-kilometre road stage of the Tour of Luxembourg on Thursday. The Italian out-sprinted Steven Caethoven (Agritubel) and Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) in the bunch gallop to the finish in Mondorf-les-Bains.
“It was a nervous and very fast stage,” said Napolitano. “Astana kept the pace high to catch the escapees. In the sprint my teammates Horrach, Markov and Mikhailov brought me to the front and then I took the wheel of CSF Group-Navigare’s Dall’Antonia. He started his sprint at 200 metres to go which may have been a little bit early because of the headwind.”
Switzerland’s Grégory Rast (Astana), who won Wednesday’s prologue, remained in the race lead by two seconds over Jonathan Hivert (Skil-Shimano) and four seconds ahead of Romain Feillu (Agritubel).
The teams of the sprinters then kept the race together until the finish line for their field sprint to decide stage honours
1 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 3.48.29 (41.333 km/h) 2 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Agritubel 3 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano 4 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 5 Tiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 6 Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 7 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskatel - Euskadi 8 Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 9 Cyrille Heymans (Lux) Continental Team Differdange 10 Christian Poos (Lux) Continental Team Differdange
fter being denied on stage two and taking his chances in a breakaway on stage one, Australian Robbie McEwen finally got the win he was looking for in stage three of the Tour de Picardie. Coming to the line ahead of his lead-out man Danilo Napolitano, the Katusha pair left the rest of the sprinters in their wake.
Under a light drizzle, the 112 remaining riders lined up for the first of two stages on Sunday. At the top of the first climb of the day, the Côte de Pont St. Mard (5 km), Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Diquigiovanni) took the points ahead of Alexandre Usov (Cofidis ) and Kristoff Vandewalle (Topsport Vlaanderen).
A breakaway formed at km 16 with four riders: Damien Gaudin (Bouygues Telecom), Rémy Cusin (AG2R), Andreï Amador (Caisse d’Epargne ) and Jimmy Engoulvent (Besson Chaussures). The quartet fought to stay clear, but lost Gaudin after 9km. He was replaced by is taken up by the peloton while Florian Guillou (Roubaix Lille Metropole), who had bridged to the move.
Finally, the four edged out 30 seconds on the bunch by the sprint in Manicamp (km 30.5), which was won by Engoulvent. But the sprint-hungry peloton never allowed the leaders to gain a minute. Guillou took the summit of the Côte de Bethancourt en Vaux before the peloton reeled them in close enough for Anthony Ravard (AG2R) and Sébastien Joly (FdJ) to get across.
Amador flatted out of the break, but the move had been doomed from the start and were brought back into the fold with 3km to go. Joly gave a valient solo effort, but Katusha controlled the pace to bring the peloton together for the final sprint. McEwen won handily ahead of his teammate Napolitano and the Italian Mattia Gavazzi (Diquigiovanni).
“It was important for me to come back into form soon after my fall in the Scheldeprijs that cost me my place in the Giro,” said McEwen. “It’s really important for a sprinter to win races.”
The finish was almost usurped by a rider from Caisse d’Epargne, but Napolitano quickly got onto his wheel, and McEwen and his teammate sprinted side by side to the line with the Italian respecting the prescribed order and taking second. “This afternoon, it may be Napolitano‘s turn,” said McEwen.
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 1.55.03 (44.07 km/h) 2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 3 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 4 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne 5 Stéphane Bonsergent (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 6 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 7 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 9 Kevin Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 10 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli
Danilo Napolitano missed his second career Tour of Qatar stage win by one position Tuesday. The Italian discovered that the tactics of the Belgians – like winner Tom Boonen – gave that extra bit of advantage needed to take the victory in stage three.
“Team Quick Step did well; they had good representation with three men. They are more accustomed to this wind since they are from Belgium,” said Napolitano of Team Katusha.
The 137.5-kilometre stage from Al Zubarah in Qatar’s north to the country’s capital city of Doha featured a strong north wind that helped split the race into small groups. Napolitano made the select move of 26 riders with teammates Filippo Pozzato and Denis Galimzyanov.
“I did this race last year and I know that the stages can be windy every day. It is a strange race. In Qatar it is a race of the wind.”
Pozzato followed the early move of a Cervélo TestTeam rider in the stage’s finale. Napolitano positioned himself well for the sprint behind Boonen.
Steven de Jongh led teammate Boonen to the finish line. Napolitano found himself boxed in when De Jongh’s work was finished. He finished second to Boonen and ahead of Jürgen Roelandts (Silence-Lotto) and Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam).
Napolitano also finished second in stage two to Briton Roger Hammond, but then it was a late break by the english riders.
The six-stage race, February 1 to 6, continues Tueday with a 141-kilometre stage from Doha to Qatar’s north, in Madinat Al Shamal. It will be another flat stage that is suited for the sprinters.
The second time in a row the winner of the stage is a British citizen after the yesterday’s great success of Bradley Wiggins. This time it was Roger Hammond. The rider of the new Cervelo Test Team, made his escape with just 2.8km before finish.
And another second place for Katusha Cycling Team. Danilo Napolitano. The italian sprinter was, in fact, the first rider brom the bunch to cross the line, before such sprint-paersonalities like Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish .