Coppi e Bartali 2009: Stage 1a. Napolitano the best
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)