Alberto Contador takes Milano-Torino with late uphill attack
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Alberto Contador takes Milano-Torino with late uphill attack

by Ben Atkins at 10:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Vuelta a España winner carries World championships form to take revived semi-classic race

alberto contadorAlberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) managed to hold onto the form that saw him as one of the key animators of the previous weekend’s World championship race to take victory in the revived Milano-Torino race. The victory, which was the Vuelta a España’s very first in a one-day race, came as Contador jumped clear of the beleaguered peloton on the final climb to the Basilica di Superga and managed to hold on to take victory.

In second place behind Contador was 23-year-old Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD), ahead of Swedish climber Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana).

“It was a maximum effort,” explained Contador afterwards. “Joaquim [Rodríguez of Katusha] took a few meters and I started to work, I caught him, I took a breath on his wheel, and then tried to go.”

“I'm very, very happy to win, especially in Italy” , he continued. “This morning, when I woke up, weighed 2.4 kg more than in the Vuelta, I knew there were 190 kilometres, that I hadn’t trained yesterday, and the day before yesterday I did only 40 kilometres; but the point was to get to  finish line with strength in my legs.”

For Contador, it was “something of an unexpected victory. It is dedicated to all my teammates and to someone whose presence I felt during the Worlds, Victor Cabedo [the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider who was killed after being hit by a car the week before].

“Wherever he was, this victory is for him.”

With Italy’s oldest one-day race under his belt, Contador was now looking ahead to arguably its most prestigious and the Giro di Lombardia just three days later.

“Now I need to rest and eat well,” he said. “We'll talk on Saturday.”

The 199km race was dominated by a two-man breakaway from Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord-Named), who escaped in the early kilometres and managed to open up a lead of 8’30” by the 60km point. A chase from the peloton, mostly orchestrated by Liquigas-Cannondale, saw the two riders steadily closed down however, until, with the gap down to 1’30” with 25km to go Balloni went alone.

With the peloton so close behind the leaders Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-ISD) jumped across the gap on the first climb to Superga, and left them behind. With eight kilometres to go, and only the second climb ahead of them, the two new leaders were almost 30 seconds ahead, but were joined by a group that included Kessiakoff, Kevin De Weert (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Contador and Chris Anker Sørensen (both Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank),” Ulissi and Marco Marzano (Lampre-ISD) and Stefano Locatelli (Colnago-CSF Inox).

The victory looked to be about to be decided between Ulissi and Kessiakoff, but Contador put in an attack in the final kilometre and rode alone to the finish to take the first edition of the race since 2007.

"Usually the second place gives you a feeling of regrets,” said Ulissi afterwards. “But if the name of the cyclist that preceded you is Alberto Contador, the taste of the second place is different and it is similar to the taste of the success.”

"I regret that I could not complete a perfect day winning the race,” he added. “My legs were good, I also got through a difficult moment on the first passage on the climb and then I was ready to perform the winning move, but Contador demonstrated he's very strong. I aim to be a protagonist in Lombardia too."

Result Milano-Torino
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
3. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Team Astana
4. Joaquim Rodríguez (Spa) Katusha Team
5. Carlos Betancur (Col) Acqua & Sapone
6. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
7. Domenico Pozzivivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox
8. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela


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