Video: Garmin-Barracuda not giving up on goal of beating Guardini
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Video: Garmin-Barracuda not giving up on goal of beating Guardini

by Shane Stokes at 12:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de Langkawi, Video
Squad wants to win final stage of Tour de Langkawi

Nathan HaasAndrea Guardini has the distinction of having won every stage of this year’s Tour de Langkawi which has come down to a bunch sprint; of the nine stages thus far, there have been two hilly or mountain legs – stages five and six - which broke things up, a time trial, and alos a seventh stage which saw a break stay clear until the end.

Other than that, the Italian has dominated and shown little sign of any weakness.

That’s psychologically tough on the other teams, who each came with an ambition of winning at least a stage, but who have had little look-in.

Garmin Barracuda has of course already taken one; the American ProTeam outfit was best in the stage one time trial via the speed of Dave Zabriskie, and led the race until Darren Lapthorne (Drapac Cycling) took over the yellow jersey on stage five.

Since then, though, the team hasn’t featured in the same way. Zabriskie cracked on that fifth stage, most likely due to the effects of heat, and has been quieter since. Tom Danielson started the Genting stage second overall, but the expected push for yellow didn’t come because the American was curtailed by a leg infection.

Yesterday saw an aggressive display by Nathan Haas, though, who attacked with three others before the 90 kilometre mark, built a decent lead and stayed clear for much of the rest of the stage. He was reeled in four kilometres from the line, but his team-mate Raymond Kreder then came through.

The Dutchman was one of the strongest in the sprint, kicking early and opening a small gap over Guardini. The Italian came back and won the stage, with Kreder getting third, but Haas said after the stage that the team could take encouragement from that.

“He’s coming close now, he actually got the jump on Guardini in the sprint today,” he told VeloNation in the video interview below. “Looking at the film itself, he didn’t actually get caught until a few meters before the line. So I think it would be crazy not to try to run him in the sprint.”

He said thought that the team wouldn’t necessarily bank everything on a sprint. “If we can get away and be in front of Guardini, that’s another opportunity to actually beat him.”

Today’s final stage covers 114.8 kilometres from Tasik Kenir to Kuala Terengganu. The finish is the same as yesterday, perhaps giving Kreder an opportunity to draw on his stage nine experience and try to time his surge to perfection.



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