Vincenzo Nibali both satisfied and disappointed with third place in Sanremo
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vincenzo Nibali both satisfied and disappointed with third place in Sanremo

by Ben Atkins at 3:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 
Liquigas-Cannondale captain made the decisive attack but was no match for his companions in the sprint

vincenzo nibaliVincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) declared himself “satisfied and disappointed” after his third place in today’s Milano-Sanremo. The ‘Shark’ from Messina, Sicily, was the one to have made the winning move, as he attacked near the top of the Poggio climb with less than 8km to go, but could do little more than follow the wheel of Swiss champion Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) on the flat run to the line however, and had no answer to Australian champion Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) in the dash for the line.

The Liquigas-Cannondale team had, in many ways, made the race up until this point; it was the green and blue team’s acceleration in the climb to Le Mànie, with less than 100km to go, that rid the peloton of World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky), and Valerio Agnoli was the first to make a move as the race hit the foot of the Poggio.

The third step on the podium was Nibali’s best result in la Classicissima however, after his eighth place of 2011, when he also made the winning group.

“I feel a sense of satisfaction and disappointment at the same time,” said Nibali, who came into the race on top form after his victory in the recent Tirreno-Adriatico. “I did what I could, at the right time and in the right way, but I had no hope of winning against two riders like Cancellara and Gerrans. Unfortunately, you know, I'm not really competitive in the sprints.

“The attack on the Poggio was agreed around the table this morning,” he explained. “After the descent we had the wind against us and "locomotive" Cancellara kept the speed too high, preventing any kind of attack. Then Peter [Sagan] was behind and could fight it out in the sprint. In short, I did everything possible and I couldn’t ask for more.

“Congratulations to Gerrans, both for the final sprint and for spotting the decisive attack.”

With the three-man group just managing to stay away to the finish, Nibali’s teammate Sagan managed to sprint for fourth place, just two seconds behind; outpacing German sprinter John Degenkolb (Project 1t4i), to give Liquigas-Cannondale third and fourth places.

“The race started well for us, then showed the factors that make the ‘Sanremo’ such a unique race: tactics, experience and luck,” said Sagan. “I still go away with the knowledge that my condition is there. And also, I made a big step forward in a difficult race; I know I can come back in the future and I have what it takes to win.”

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