Pinotti on course for sixth national title and Olympic Games
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Pinotti on course for sixth national title and Olympic Games

by Shane Stokes at 11:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Italian back to full strength one year after breaking femur

Marco PinottiA year after leaving the race in an ambulance and with a question mark over the future direction of his career, Marco Pinotti has turned things right around. He is gunning for a sixth national time trial title plus Olympic participation, and may yet be called up to take part in the Tour de France with defending champion Cadel Evans.

Pinotti averaged over 51 kilometres an hour on yesterday’s 28.2 kilometer course and beat Geraint Thomas (Sky Procycling) by 39 seconds.

The result is a welcome achievement after Pinotti’s bad crash in last year’s Giro plus his subsequent recovery from a broken femur. It is also his first win in almost two years, with his fifth Italian TT victory on June 27th being the last time he topped the podium in an individual event.

Of course, Pinotti has sprayed the champagne in the intervening period, wearing the pink jersey at last year’s Giro after his BMC Racing squad won the opening team time trial.

Yesterday’s result marks the sixth year in a row when Pinotti has achieved something big at the Giro. He wore the pink jersey in 2007, took the final time trial one year later, was part of the winning team time trial in 2009 and then placed ninth overall in 2010.

Last year’s participation ended badly due to that crash, but taking the Maglia Rosa in the TTT is a standout moment. Yesterday’s success continues that sequence and shows that he’s still one of the fastest time trialists at 36 years of age.

"This was a big goal for me," he said. "I won the last time trial here at the Giro in 2008 and I was second in 2010 and last year it was a big goal. But I crashed two days before and had to go to the hospital. So I've been working for this for a year.”

As Pinotti told VeloNation in a pre-race feature, he was hoping that he could fight for a top ten overall finish. “One year I was in the top ten, last year I was close to it… I am confident that I can still make it, but there are many riders who want to do GC,” he said. “We will see day by day. The good thing is that the form is here.”

Ultimately he wasn’t consistent enough to fight for that, but once he realized that a top ten wasn’t achievable, he backed off to ensure he’s be as fresh as possible for the final time trial.

“For me, it's been a difficult Giro,” he said. “I was trying to save all my energy for this in the last week."

On the basis of yesterday’s result, that goal was a compete success.


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