Lost focus means Pozzato is ruing missed chance in Paris-Roubaix
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Monday, April 09, 2012

Lost focus means Pozzato is ruing missed chance in Paris-Roubaix

by VeloNation Press at 5:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
 
Amstel Gold Race could offer one more chance to Italian

Filippo PozzatoLast week he delayed in the finale of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, waiting instead of counter-attacking when Tom Boonen chased down Alessandro Ballan three times.

This time round, Filippo Pozzato’s hesitation came 56 kilometres from the end of Paris-Roubaix, when he stalled at the point when Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra rode clear of their group.

Instead of jumping on the break, Pozzato began looking around, wasting valuable seconds and allowing the Belgians to open a gap. He then knuckled down to chase, but the delay allowed a storming Boonen to begin what would be a long, successful time trial to victory.

Any hope Pozzato had of getting back on terms was dashed when he crashed soon after the break went.

“When Boonen attacked, after the Arenberg, I was the first who closed him down,” he said, emphasizing that his legs were not the problem. “I felt good, I was there, ready. Then I didn't immediately follow Boonen and Terpstra, and I lost the right moment.

“But there were three BMC and four Sky men there, I though they would close it down. After that I crashed, and I went out from the race.”

Although it has been reported that the withdrawal was more due to frustration than injury, the team has sad that he did incur some slight damage. He’s got a swollen calf and thigh, but it appears the realization that he had lost the race was a bigger factor in not racing on to Roubaix.

Pozzato has had a couple of seasons where his results were not as good as he had expected, and had worked hard after fracturing his collarbone to be in a position to win either the Ronde Van Vlaanderen or Paris-Roubaix.

Realising both those targets had been missed hit him hard yesterday.

“Pippo lost the right moment when he didn't follow Boonen,” said his manager Luca Scinto. “After that, the race was over. We are saddened because with a Pozzato in this condition, it's a disappointment we can’t make the race.”

Many of those who ride the northern Classics take a break after Roubaix; if Pozzato does that, he’ll finish this period of the season with second in Flanders as his best result. However if he can remain focused, the Amstel Gold race gives him an opportunity to try to make the most of his form.

He’s currently listed as being due to take part. Given the good climbing abilty he showed in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, he still has a chance to take the spring result that he feels he deserves. But only if there's no more hesitation.

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