Domenico Pozzovivo wins the Giro del Trentino as John Atapuma takes the snowy Pordoi
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Domenico Pozzovivo wins the Giro del Trentino as John Atapuma takes the snowy Pordoi

by Ben Atkins at 10:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Colombian finishes the job after Colnago-CSF Inox rider drops his rivals on the iconic mountain pass

domenico pozzovivoJohn Darwin Atapuma (Colombia-Coldeportes) took by far the biggest victory of his career, with the fourth and final stage of the Giro del Trentino between the Castelletto di Brenzone and the Passo Pordoi. The 24-year-old Colombian attacked in the final few hundred metres of the stage, as the remains of the leading group approached the summit of the 2239 metre high pass, and soloed unopposed through the falling snow to the finish.

Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) took second place, three seconds behind his compatriot, with race leader Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) following another three seconds later, having done most of the work in the final kilometres to rid himself of his overall rivals.

“I grew up following [Lucho] Herrera’s great wins at the Tour de France, and it’s a dream to win on such a climb," said Atapuma. "I can guess how happy they are in Colombia right now…

"I came from a farmers’ family, so I know what fatigue is about…" he joked. "It’s an amazing result, as it’s also the first ever for my team, and I want to dedicate it to our manager Claudio Corti, because he made this great project possible."

Just as he had done on the previous day, Pozzovivo had taken the initiative on the final climb to the finish, having withstood pressure from the Liquigas-Cannondale team - including Ivan Basso - on the lower slopes. With the leading group down to just half a dozen riders, the 29-year-old lifted the pace in response to an attack from Hubert Dupont (AG2R La Mondiale).

As Pozzovivo caught the Frenchman he began to put Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) and Sylwester Szmyd (Liquigas-Cannondale) into difficulty and, having dropped them, led Atapuma and Betanucur into the final kilometre of the 177.5km stage.

Having rid himself of the challenge from Cunego and Szmyd, Pozzovivo confirmed himself the overall victor of the Giro del Trentino, the biggest victory of his career.

"When I think back to cold we suffered to get up here are I still shiver,” said Pozzovivo. “In this Giro I found myself in just the right climbing form and determination, which is important as I look forward to the Giro d’Italia.

"We, at Colnago-CSF Bardiani have, of course had a great Giro,” he added. We were immediately comfortable with the team time trial; today on the Pordoi I was alone after my teammates had worked hard all day to keep a lid on the race.

“My rivals tried to attack me a little,” he explained, “but it was easy to answer them. I had no problems and felt so good in the finale that I attacked myself.”

A flat out, flat start comes before a mountainous finish

Despite many attempts, the flat early parcours meant that nobody was able to escape the peloton, which covered an impressive 50.5km in the first hour. On the unclassified climb to Cadine after 60km however, Brian Vandborg (Spidertech p/b C10) and Reto Hollenstein (NetApp) got away.

Having let the two riders go, the peloton relaxed and, as Vandborg led Hollenstein through the intermediate sprint in Cembra, after 88.4km, they were seven minutes ahead. This was as far as the duo was allowed to go however, but, as Pozzovivo’s Colnago-CSF Inox team lead the peloton with Team Idea, it hovered around the same distance for the next 30km before it began to come down.

With 50km to go the gap was down to six minutes, as Colnago-CSF Inox began to lift the pace; as the gentle climb towards Pozza di Fassa began with 25km to go, it had been slashed to 3’30”.

As the riders approached the foot of the Pordoi, the Liquigas-Cannondale team moved up to the front and, with 11km to go, began to force the pace on behalf of Szmyd. A crash in the middle of the peloton, involving Alessandro Ballan and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing), Luca Ascani (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), and Davide Frattini (UnitedHealthcare) split the peloton.

All of the race’s main contenders were in the front part of the peloton however, and the gap between the two groups widened as the pace up front continued to rise.

Ivan Basso shows his form and puts his Giro d’Italia rival in trouble

With nine kilometres to go Basso himself came to the front and began to lift the pace further, which immediately put Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) into trouble. All of the race favourites were still there however, with Pozzovivo tucked in on the wheel of Sylwester Szmyd, and Cunego in turn behind him.

Despite the fierce pace, Jose Rujano (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) jumped away; Basso calmly maintained his rhythm however, and kept the Venezuelan in sight.

After two kilometres of hard pulling, which had thinned the group to no more than a dozen riders, Basso sat up and handed the pace making over to Liquigas-Cannondale teammate Eros Capecchi. Following Basso out the back were Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) and Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing).

Pierre Rolland (Europcar) was the next to go out of the back of the group, as the group reached the snowline with less than five kilometres to go; just as Capecchi pulled back Rujano.

This was Capecchi’s job over and, as he pulled over, Rujano took the front again. Pozzivivo was marking him closely, but this new acceleration put Roman Kreuziger (Astana) in trouble and he dropped back with Capecchi.

Pozzovivo takes control and gets rid of his overall threats

With three kilometres to go Dupont attacked as the group began to slow and, since he was of no immediate danger overall, he was allowed to go. The others looked at Pozzivivo however, and the race leader gradually began to reel the Frenchman in.

The group was now just Pozzovivo, Szmyd, Cunego, Betancur, Atapuma and Rujano, as Dupont was recaptured. The AG2R La Mondiale rider quickly drifted to the back of the string, where he joined Rujano in clinging on for dear life.

Pozzovivo continued his pace however, and the two of them were finally dropped as they entered the final kilometre.

As the road steepened Cunego, in third wheel, was forced to allow the gap to open and the group began to split up. Szmyd was with the race leader rider momentarily, but he too dropped back to Cunego and now there were just three up front.

Pozzovivo had rid himself of his two main rivals and, as the finish line approached Atapuma attacked and the other two were forced to watch him go. Betancur took second place, and Pozzovivo was a close third, confirming his overall victory in the race as the others came over one by one behind him.

Result stage 4
1. John Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia-Coldeportes
2. Carlos Betacur (Col) Acqua & Sapone @ 3s
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox @ 6s
4. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale @ 17s
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD
6. Jose Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela @ 21s
7. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 30s
8. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Team Astana @ 1’06”
9. Miguel Angel Chavez (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela @ 1’20”
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar @ 1’27”

Final overall standings
1. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
2. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD @ 40s
3. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale @ 1’04”
4. Carlos Betacur (Col) Acqua & Sapone @ 1’42”
5. Jose Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela @ 2’07”
6. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Astana @ 2’33”
7. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 2’34”
8. John Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia-Coldeportes @ 3’55”
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team 4’01”
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team @ 4’05”


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