Team NetApp rides Cesare Benedetti into the lead in Coppi e Bartali TTT
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Team NetApp rides Cesare Benedetti into the lead in Coppi e Bartali TTT

by Ben Atkins at 12:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
German team fastest over short, flat course; sprinter takes jersey due to finishing consistency

team netappTeam NetApp powered to victory in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali stage 2b team time trial in the seaside town of Gatteo, putting sprinter Cesare Benedetti into the race lead. The German team - made up of Benedetti, Jan Barta, Andreas Dietziker, Marcel Wyss, Bartosz Huzarski, Leopold König, Matthias Brändle and Daniel Schorn - setting out third to last, completed the flat 14.9km inland course in a time of 16’28”, at an average speed of 54,290km/h, to finish eight seconds clear of former leader Endura Racing, with 16’36”, who had started midway through the field.

Endura Racing had itself deposed the early frontrunner, Androni Giocattoli, by seven seconds, but the Italian team’s time of 16’43” was good enough for third place.

"The team had a great race," said Team NetApp directeur sportif Jens Heppner. "We prepared ourselves deliberately for the team time trial. And now it has paid off. Today’s course was technically demanding with several tight curves. But the team mastered it wonderfully. The fact that we were the clear winners and even managed to claim the leader's jersey, that just rounds it all off. I’m very proud of the team."

Despite riding so aggressively in the morning’s first semitappa, the Acqua & Sapone team of Danilo Di Luca and Stefano Garzelli was to set off first. The white-clad team’s time of 16’44” was good enough to hold off the attentions of UnitedHealthcare (17’12”), Colombia-Coldeportes (17’54”) and Colnago-CSF Inox (16’55”), but finally fell as Androni Giocattoli went just over a second quicker.

As a team full of climbers, the Androni Giocattoli result was surely not expected to stand for very long, but the bigger name team of Farnese Vini-Selle Italia that followed could only manage 17’07”. Continental teams Adria Mobil and Itera Katusha posted 17’16” and 16’57” respectively, before Endura Racing was to depose Androni Giocattoli.

The British Continental team, which included February sensation Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, managed to hold off Liquigas-Cannondale (16’52”), Team Nippo (17’20”), Lampre-ISD (16’55”), Astana (16’55”), Oster-Hus Ridley (17’39”), Spidertech p/b C10 (17’15”), and Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (17’19”), before Team NetApp finally knocked it off the top spot.

Utensilnord-Named could only manage 16’53”, while Team Idea, of stage one winner and race leader Andrea Palini, posted 15’16”, to surrender the jersey to the German team.

Result stage 2b
1. Team Netapp (Ger) 14.9km in 16’28”
2. Endura Racing (GBr) @ 8s
3. Androni Giocattoli @ 15s
4. Acqua & Sapone @ 16s
5.Liquigas-Cannondale @ 24s
6. Utensilnord-Named @ 25s
7. Colnago Csf @ 27s
8. Lampre-ISD
9. Astana Team
10. Itera Katusha @ 29s

Standings after stage 2b
1. Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp

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