Archive for March, 2009
Team LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini controlled the opening day of the Settimana Ciclista Lombarda in Brignano Gera d’Adda, Italy. The Italian team won the 18.5-kilometre team time trial by six seconds over Katusha and 23 over Rabobank Continental.
The team’s sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi, was first over the line and takes the leader’s jersey. He will defend the jersey in tomorrow’s stage two from Brignano Gera d’Adda to Calcinate.
Petacchi’s team dominated the 2008 edition. LPR Brakes took all three spots of the overall podium, with Danilo Di Luca taking the overall title. (GB)
1 LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini 20.54 (53.684 km/h) 2 Team Katusha 0.06 3 Rabobank Continental 0.23 4 ISD 0.24 5 Barloworld 0.25 6 Xacobeo Galicia 0.31 7 Amica Chips - Knauf 0.32 8 Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli 0.38 9 Acqua & Sapone - Caffe' Mokambo 0.40 10 PSK Whirpool - Author 0.53
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) is on a roll, taking stage one of the Driedaagse De Panne just three days after winning the E3 Prijs. Pozzato easily dispatched Frederik Willems (Liquigas) in the downhill two-up sprint and took over the lead in the overall classification.
Pozzato was quite impressive on the short and steep climbs, especially the Berendries and the Valkenberg. “The victory on Saturday certainly has given me morale.” But whether he will go all out in the time trial to win the overall remains to be seen. “If I have the lead, I will try to defend it, but if I don’t have the jersey, I won’t go for it in the time trial.”
Pozzato has only one thing on his mind right now, the Tour of Flanders. “This is De Panne, but Sunday is really important for me.”
Willems took the initiative in the end. “I tried to accelerate with about 200m to go, in the turn, but he [Pozzato] was too strong and too fast. I knew I was beaten right away…” Willems didn’t want to blame the position. “I was in the front, but
is like a derny at the moment.”
Willems, however, was pleased with his race, first bridging solo from the chase group he was in and then launching the decisive attack just before the Valkenberg. “In the beginning I was in the [Tom] Boonen group and too far back. I knew I had to get to the front group, as Boonen and [Kevin] van Impe were the only ones driving. They came close, but not really fast enough, so I jumped.”
His decisive attack came with a little more than 20 km left to race. “In the end I tried again; I was good today, but in the end I was also tired…”
Filippo Pozzato sprinted to his first win in over a year at the E3 Prijs Saturday in Harelbeke, Belgium. The Italian of team Katusha bettered home favourite Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Kazakh Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) after 208 kilometres of racing. “I was able to get Boonen up front for the finale, that was important,” said Pozzato. “He is faster than I am, for sure, but in a hard course I have a chance.” Boonen formed the winning move of three on the Knokteberg climb with 25 kilometres remaining. Pozzato immediately reacted to his former teammate and Iglinsky crossed the slight gap afterwards. The trio battled a chase behind from Rabobank and Columbia Highroad. “We got up to 50 seconds, and that allowed us time to fight for the sprint,” said Pozzato. The three men entered the final two kilometres with 54 seconds. Pozzato led Boonen and Iglinsky into the final kilometre in an increasing cold Harelbeke (4°C). He succeeded in slowing enough to force Boonen to the front at the final left hand turn with 500 metres to go. Pozzato opened up the sprint on Boonen’s left as they traveled down the right side of the road into a headwind. They dueled to the line for a tight sprint and Iglinsky remained in third. “I am happy, I am sorry for him because we are great friends,” Pozzato said. “Iglinsky was a problem for me because if I was alone with Pozzato then I know what to do to win,” said Boonen. “Pozzato moved onto my rear wheel. I was on the front and that was a mistake.” Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) led home a group of six at 45 seconds for fourth. Boonen’s teammates finished fifth and sixth, Sylvain Chavanel and Stijn Devolder. Nick Nuyens (Rabobank), George Hincapie (Columbia-Highroad) and Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) took spots seven to nine. “I was having problems with my bike,” said Hincapie to Cyclingnews. “On all the cobblestones it was just skipping so I could never really go with the attacks and I had to keep coming back. …Despite the bike problems, I am good shape and I was with the best guys the whole race.”
Danilo Napolitano won the opening stage of the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali Tuesday morning in Riccione. The Katusha rider out-sprinted Marko Kump (Adria Mobil) and Enrico Rossi (Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce) after 81.2 kilometres of racing.
“I feel good. It all went well and the victory is the compensation,” said the Italian from Sicilia. “We pulled all day to try to keep the escape controlled. In the finale my teammates did excellent work, with Trusov as the last man in the train.”
Dmitri Nikandrov (Centri della Calzatura), Dainius Kairelis (Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce), Marco Cattaneo (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) formed a three man escape early in the day. The trio obtained a maximum advantage of 1:25 by kilometre 55 under the watchful eyes of teams Liquigas, Columbia and Katusha.
The Russian team handled a last minute attack from Yuri Mitlushenko (Amore & Vita-McDonald’s) to deliver Napolitano to his third win of the season. It is his first win in Italy after wins in Spain and Belgium. will wear the general classification leader’s jersey for the afternoon’s team time trial.
The afternoon’s semi-stage covers 14.3 kilometres from Riccione to Misano Adriatico. Big names, like Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), will be eager to test their time trial form. (GB)
Alberto Contador of Team Astana put forth his best effort to take back what he lost earlier, but in the end the day belonged to two other Spaniards. Antonio Colom of Katusha outsprinted Contador for the stage win and Luis Leon Sanchez came in 17 seconds later to cement his overall win.
“I owe this victory to my teammates, who helped me a lot,” Sanchez said. “I always remained calm and collected. I had a great morale throughout and this win is also theirs.”
He continued, “Everybody’s main objective in cycling, whether you’re a rider or a sponsor, is the Tour. In the team, we have riders who can win it. Today, I’m the Paris-Nice winner, but in July, I’ll become a teammate again, trying to help Oscar [Pereiro] or Alejandro [Valverde] win the Tour.”
The 25-year-old praised his friend and rival, Contador, calling him “a great rider, but his goal is also the Tour more than Paris-Nice. I’m glad this was my turn and today’s my day.”
A group of 25 riders got away at the 25km mark and built up a lead of 1:25, but were only able to stay in the lead for about 50 km.
Antonio Colom (Team Katusha) was one of the most aggressive riders in the finale, netting him second place on the day. “I tried several times to get away from the break group, but they always brought me back. Then Sánchez countered and the others didn’t follow him.” Once he knew Sánchez would stay away, he changed tactics. “I concentrated on the sprint for second. I have a slight cold and yesterday I had some bronchial problems, but today I was feeling much better.”
Colom moved up to sixth and is 2:16 behind Sánchez in the GC. “I hope to be just as good in the final stage tomorrow,” he said.
Stage 3 – March 10: Orval – Vichy, 178km
Chavanel passes him just before the line. Haussler takes the sprint of the bunch on the line and should keep his green jersey.
1 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 2 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank 3 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank 4 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 5 Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel) Quick Step 6 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Rabobank 7 Jürgen Roelandts (Bel) Silence-Lotto 8 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad 9 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam 10 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom