Contrasting fortunes for van Garderen and Pinotti in world championship TT
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Contrasting fortunes for van Garderen and Pinotti in world championship TT

by Shane Stokes at 6:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships, Injury
“I knew this time I was going to reach the podium…this sport is cruel”

Tejay van GarderenAside from runner up Taylor Phinney, BMC Racing team riders Tejay van Garderen and Marco Pinotti also contested today’s Elite trial at the world championships and had very different fortunes.

Van Garderen rode strongly to earn a career-bast fourth place in the time trial, finishing just four seconds off the bronze medal-winning performance of Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus). Following on from a close second place in Sunday’s team time trial, frustration might have been expected after another near miss, but instead he was content with how things worked out.

This was the case even though he had an equipment malfunction which could in theory have cost him bronze.

“My radio stopped working halfway through, so I had no idea,” he stated after his effort. “I kind of had this pacing strategy but it didn't work out perfectly. A downhill section I thought I could get recovery on was into a headwind. So I went pretty hard on the climbs hoping to get rest there and then it didn't happen.”

Still, he sees the bright side, the glass very much half full. “At the end of the day, though, this is a very good ride for me because one-day time trials aren't really my specialty,” van Garderen continued.

For Pinotti, the day contained no silver lining; in fact, a cloud cost him possible bronze. As he stated to VeloNation beforehand, he was pleased about the course and considered a podium finish was possible; that was borne out by a pacing strategy which should have seen him ride faster in the tough finale, as well as a solid performance at the second time split.

He was fifth there, improving from eleventh at the first checkpoint, and was just 3.9 seconds off Kiryienka’s pace. Everything was looking good, but on a ninety degree left turn his front wheel slid on a painted section of road and he fell heavily on his side, clattering along the ground.

Pinotti got back up and tried to continue, but had lost too much time to still think of bronze. That unfortunately wasn’t the only concern; he indicated to national coach Paolo Bettini something was wrong, then rolled to a halt. His left shoulder was examined, a broken collarbone suspected, and his race came to a premature end.

A later medical examination at Maastricht University showed he had indeed broken his clavicle. “The fracture is complicated by the acromioclavicular (AC) separation,” said BMC Racing Team doctor Dr. Max Testa.

Pinotti has twice won the final time trial in the Giro d’Italia and was convinced he was on the way to bronze. “I was enjoying the race so much and I knew this time I was going to reach the podium,” he said. “This sport is too cruel.”

The blow will be hard to take but although he’s 36 years of age, the respected Italian rider is still one of the very best time triallists in the sport. His ride today shows that he is still improving, and many will hope he can return next year and take the medal he seemed likely to scoop today.


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