Manuele Boaro gets breakout performance in Giro d’Italia stage one
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Manuele Boaro gets breakout performance in Giro d’Italia stage one

by Kyle Moore at 5:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Young Italian continues impressive time trialing in Riis’ hometown

Manuele BoaroIn need of a boost during a difficult season, Team Saxo Bank was provided another lift by an emerging time trialist on Saturday in the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia.

Raced on the streets of Herning, Denmark, which happens to be the hometown of team boss Bjarne Riis, the test against the clock was eventually won by Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing). But it was Saxo Bank’s 24-year-old Italian Manuele Boaro who produced an unheralded ride, briefly taking the virtual leader’s jersey before it was ripped away by Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling), who then lost it to Phinney.

Boaro would eventually take an impressive fourth place, after Alex Rasmussen (Garmin Barracuda) was the final starter to go better than the Saxo Bank rider.

In his second season with Saxo Bank, Boaro has quietly added solid results against the clock throughout a busy 2012 season. In the final individual time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico, Boaro finished fifth, just behind specialists Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) and Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge). After taking second in the time trial at Circuit de la Sarthe, Boaro was ninth in the prologue at the Tour de Romandie.

Boaro sounded pleased with his ride in his comments after the race, having left everything out on the course.

“I dug really deep and I couldn’t have gone any faster,” he said afterward. “Of course I wanted to win and I hope that Bjarne is happy with my performance. The support from the crowd couldn’t have been bigger and they gave me a tailwind all the way to the finish line. Now the race has begun, and I’m looking forward to all three weeks.”

If Boaro and Riis were dreaming about the win after the Italian’s ride, it would only last a second. Italian television broadcasters showed an impromptu interview with an exhausted Boaro after he came across the line, but he was still on camera as he watched Thomas cruise over the line less than a minute later, six seconds faster than he had just ridden.

In spite of the public defeat and the disheartening finish just off the stage podium, Riis was very happy with his rider.

“Manuele did a magnificent time trial and he truly proved his class – I know how much he has been looking forward to this,” the Saxo Bank team director added. “He worked really well throughout the course and I think he did his very best performance today. Of course we wanted to win, but I can only be content with Manuele’s effort.”

It was Boaro who brought home the best result for the Danish Saxo Bank team riding on home roads, but the entire squad noted the increased motivation they drew from the hometown crowds at the side of the city streets.

“The support was simply outstanding and I’ve rarely experienced anything like it,” marveled Luke Roberts, the lone Aussie on Saxo Bank’s Giro roster. “I more or less felt Danish today due to the immense support from the spectators along the route, and it made the painful time trial beautiful,” sprinter JJ Haedo added.


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