Przemyslaw Niemiec pleased with his fifth place in Il Lombardia
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Przemyslaw Niemiec pleased with his fifth place in Il Lombardia

by Kyle Moore at 10:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Giro di Lombardia
Pole finishes first ProTour season with three top tens

Przemyslaw Niemiec

On a Giro di Lombardia course with new elements, Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-ISD) proved to be one of the most consistent riders in the race. The Pole finished fifth on the line in Lecco in the midst of the first chase group behind winner Olivier Zaugg (Leopard-Trek).

Following his sixth place the Gran Piemonte on Thursday, the result caps a strong end-of-the season run for the rider in his first season with a ProTour squad.

With ten kilometers to race, it was the Villa Vergano climb that proved to be as decisive as many thought it would be. Pre-race favourites Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Giovanni Visconti (Farnese-Vini) were dropped on the steepest slopes, and would never make it back to the leaders.

While Zaugg went away, largely unmarked, Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervelo) took up the chase with Niemiec in tow.

The Lampre-ISD game plan called for team leader and three-time Lombardia champion Damiano Cunego to be a factor in the finish. “My target for today was to support Cunego in the best way possible,” Niemiec said at the finish.

“Damiano could not be in the lead group at the decisive moment, so I tried to use my good fitness for a good result, and that makes me very happy.”

Cunego was looking for his fourth Giro di Lombardia title after having gained form at the Tour of Beijing. But it was not to be, as the Italian finished twenty-seventh. “I was looking to have a good race, especially because I had built my fitness to a good level in China. Despite this, I could not be brilliant in the heated moments of the race,” he explained. “I suffered for weeks with illness during a break at the beginning of September. My compliments to the winner, and to my team-mate Niemiec.”

For Niemiec, his first season at Lampre-ISD has proved to be a busy one. While he did not pick up a win, the 31-year-old raced and finished the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. In the latter, Niemiec picked up a fifth place finish on stage four to Sierra Nevada. With a busy racing program that started back in February, Niemiec reflected on his year with the Italian squad.

“This is my first season in a World Tour team and I think that it has been full of beautiful moments,” he said.


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