Columbia-Highroad Rabon wins TT in Tour of Murcia
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Columbia-Highroad Rabon wins TT in Tour of Murcia

by VeloNation Press at 4:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Press Release
Team Columbia-Highroad scored a second straight win in Spain on Friday after Frantisek Rabon captured the stage-three time trial of the Tour of Murcia and simultaneously moved into the overall lead. Teammate Bert Grabsch confirmed Columbia-Highroad's domination of the five-day Spanish event by finishing second in the same 16-kilometre stage. World time trial champion Grabsch is now second overall, 19 seconds behind Rabon. Columbia-Highroad also leads in the teams classification and the points competition.

In an exceptional week of racing for Team Columbia-Highroad, Rabon's victory is the third in fewer than seven days, and the ninth of the season for America's leading Pro Tour squad. Teammate Greg Henderson has already won the GP Almeria last Sunday, and the sprinter from New Zealand followed that up with a victory in stage two of Murcia on Thursday. Twenty-four hours later, Rabon made it a Spanish hat trick of victories for Columbia-Highroad.
"Right at the start of the year, the team and I had agreed I should peak for this part of the season," Rabon said afterwards. "But normally I go better in the second half of the year, so this is a really encouraging result. On top of that, 16 kilometres is a very difficult distance for a time trial. You can't go full gas like in a shorter prologue. But you're not trying to conserve your strength for the last few kilometres like in a full-length time trial in a major Tour, either."

"This time I got it right," he continued, "although going over the course three times in the morning with different kinds of wheels helped a lot. I tried out the three-spoke, then the full back wheel, and finally went for the low rims because it was so windy."
This is Rabon's first ever lead in a stage race, which makes the Czech National Time Trial Champion particularly determined to stay in yellow on Saturday's challenging trek through the mountains of Murcia.

"There are two 10-kilometre climbs, but we've got Kanstantsin, Morris [Possoni] and Craig [Lewis] who are all good climbers here. With that kind of support I'm feeling very confident."

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