Dario Cataldo: “We raced as a team, all together”
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Dario Cataldo: “We raced as a team, all together”

by Kyle Moore at 8:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Omega Pharma-Quick Step pulls some positives from its first Grand Tour

Dario CataldoAfter a Classics season that could not have possibly gone better, Omega Pharma-Quick Step entered the Giro d’Italia with few lofty expectations. But the Belgian team was pleased with what it had taken away from its first Grand Tour in Milan on Sunday.

Italian team leader Dario Cataldo finished 12th overall, Michal Golas spent time in the mountains jersey, and the team placed three riders in the top 15 of the final time trial. Julien Vermote led the charge on the final stage, finishing tenth. Michal Kwiatkowski was 12th and Cataldo was 13th.

Cataldo spent a large portion of the final week on the attack, trying to get away far enough to boost his position in the final standings. But he faced nearly a five-minute gap between his spot and eleventh place, which he closed to less than three, after John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale) put in a less than stellar time trial performance in Milan.

Cataldo was pleased with his final placing, especially given his team’s aggressive nature toward the end.

“It was a difficult race. I am happy about the fact that the team tried for the entire race,” Cataldo stated. “Day by day we did the maximum. Sometimes I had some little problems, for example on stage 16 with the finish in Cortina, but I am happy about the fact that I tried.

“The goal of this Giro was to place in the top 10 of the general classification. I finished 12th, so I am just near the goal, the position I was expecting. If I consider all the circumstances I think we did a good race. I want to thank the team for the big effort, trying to support me every moment of every stage. We raced as a real team, all together.”

Cataldo utilized team-mate Serge Pauwels often in the final week, as the Belgian experienced a positive return to Grand Tour racing after several tough years recently.

Vermote is in his second year with the squad, and he picked up his first win in March in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen. He grabbed tenth in the final time trial, completing his first Grand Tour on a high note.

“After three stages in the high mountains, it was not easy for me to be there fighting for top 10 in a time trial,” Vermote admitted. “So the Giro was a great experience. At the beginning I didn't know what I could expect for a race like that. Now, after three weeks, I can say it was a really important experience, and I am sure it was also important for my professional growth. I know I have a lot to do — a lot of learning and improvement — but I am happy about my Giro.”

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