Giro d’Italia: Lampre-ISD clocks up mixed results
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Giro d’Italia: Lampre-ISD clocks up mixed results

by Kyle Moore at 8:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Team classification a consolation with Scarponi unable to podium

Lampre ISDAs one of the teams primarily responsible for placing an Italian in the top three, Lampre-ISD failed in the Giro d’Italia in that respect, as no Italian appeared on the podium in Milan for the first time since 1995.

Though neither Lampre-ISD leader Michele Scarponi nor Damiano Cunego was able to crack a place on the top three steps, the Italian squad was able to mount the final podium to collect the team classification title, a victory they took after a battle with Team Movistar.

Scarponi went into the final 28km time trial in a podium position, holding third place behind eventual winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) and runner up Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Though he put in a valiant effort in the final race of truth, he was forced to surrender his position to Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM).

The demotion following the time trial was another costly blow after the stage one TT, when Scarponi lost a sizeable 30 seconds on many of the favourites, including Hesjedal. Scarponi was wearing the pink jersey at the time, declared the winner of the 2011 edition after the removal of Alberto Contador from the results.

Scarponi took a little solace in his final time trial result, but was not pleased to see his podium position disappear.

“I’m sorry for not being able to defend the third place, and for not having won the Giro on the road after it was awarded last year,” he lamented. “I proved that my legs were on par with those who preceded me in the overall rankings, but unfortunately this was not enough to achieve my goals.

“I have no complaints about how I raced. I ended the final day with the knowledge of having done everything that my potential would allow.”

Cunego did not come into the Giro with his home Grand Tour as a primary goal. He started the race lacking top form and pledging to help Scarponi. The 2004 Giro d’Italia winner still managed to take away sixth place overall, and Cunego sounded especially pleased with his team’s result based on their style of racing.

“The Lampre-ISD balance sheet looks good, especially considering that we were the only team to really try and animate the race, collecting less than we deserved,” Cunego insisted. “Personally, I had the team on several occasions try to wear down the opposing teams, trying to take advantage [in the final results]. It also benefitted my ranking and I find myself closing out the Giro in sixth place. I’m sorry that Michele failed to hit his big goal, but we committed everything so that he might do it.”

Though the Italian team was unable to collect a stage win, they took second place on three. The first, on stage six, resulted in Adriano Malori taking the pink jersey, which he kept until understandably losing it the next day on the summit finish to Rocca di Cambio. Scarponi finished second behind Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) that day.

Cunego was also second on the queen stage of the race, stage 20 to the top of the Stelvio. The consistent finishes of their all-around riders resulted in a nearly 11-minute win over Movistar in the team classification.

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