Sagan over bronchitis, sprints to victory in G.P. Camaiore
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sagan over bronchitis, sprints to victory in G.P. Camaiore

by Shane Stokes at 12:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Slovakian beats Ulissi and Nocentini, looks good for Strade Bianche

Peter SaganReturning to racing today after recently suffering bronchitis in the Tour of Oman, Peter Sagan wasted no time at all in returning to the top step of the podium, with the Slovakian rider sprinting home at the head of a dozen-man group in the the G.P. Camaiore in Tuscany, Italy.

Sagan galloped home ahead of Lampre Merida’s Diego Ulissi and another Italian, Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r La Mondiale). It was his third win of the season, following on from stages two and three in Oman, and the 39th victory thus far in his short career.

Still just 23 years of age, Sagan showed that he will be a rider to be feared in Saturday’s Strade Bianche race, with his strength and good bike handling skills appearing to put him in a good position for that semi-Classic.

“It was a victory built along the way and with a great contribution from my team-mates,” he said. “Lap after lap I felt that my condition improved, and my morale built up. Agostini was very good going on the attack and putting the team in the position of not having to chase.

“When we came together on the last ascent, Moser was exceptional in closing all attacks and bringing the group to a bunch finish. At that point it was up to me to pull out the maximum and to win.”

Speaking prior to the race, Sagan played down expectations because of his recent illness, which forced him out of the Tour of Oman. He said that he wasn’t sure how competitive he would be in today’s race, and that his main goal was to gain confidence.

“This way I can judge how I feel before the Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico,” he stated.

Sagan played things quietly early on, the team sending Stefano Agostini in a move along with the young American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team), Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Pedro Paulinho (Ceramica Flaminia) and Alessandro Proni (Vini Fantini Selle Italia). While they build a lead of six minutes, they were ultimately reeled in after approximately four hours of racing.

The final lap of racing saw a strong surge by Italian national champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni-Venezuela), who kicked clear on the ascent of Monte Pitone but was hauled back. Moreno Moser then helped reel in a subsequent move, then Sagan went clear in a group along with several others, including Michele Scarponi, back to racing after a recent suspension by his Lampre Merida team, plus two other former Giro winners, Stefano Garzelli (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and Denis Menchov (Katusha).

Vincenzo Nibali was also present and tried to get clear on the descent. However the Astana rider was reeled in, paving the way for a group finish and Sagan’s success.

Next stop is the Strade Bianche, a race that Sagan will feel a lot more confident about after today’s result. “The GP Camaiore was perfect to resume race pace and to improve my condition,” he said. “I really like the Strade Bianche and I'd like to get a good result. It’s a special race, similar to a Belgian Classic, and as such you also need luck to succeed.”

Because of that, he won’t make any predictions. “I do not want to create too many expectations: we'll see how I am on Saturday and how the race will go.”

G.P. Camaiore, Tuscany, Italy (1.1)

1, Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) 183 kilometres in 4 hours 17 mins 34 secs
2, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)
3, Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2R La Mondiale)
4, Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard)
5, Mauro Santanbrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia)
6, Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocattoli)
7, Francesco Reda. (Androni Giocattoli)
8, Denis Menchov (Katusha)
9, Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha)
10, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida)
11, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team)
12, Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling)
13, Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard) at 40 secs
14, Enrico Barbin (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox)
15, Mauro Finetto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia)
16, Peter Kusztor (Utensilnord ORA24.eu)
17, Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling)
18, Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord ORA24.eu)
19, Blel Kadri (Ag2R La Mondiale)
20, Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Colombia)
21, Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
22, Andre Fernando Cardoso (Caja Rural)
23, Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia)
24, Ivan Velasco Murillo (Caja Rural)
25, Patrick Schelling (IAM Cycling)
26, Mikael Cherel (Ag2R La Mondiale)
27, Ben Gastauer (Ag2R La Mondiale)
28, Laurent Didier (RadioShack Leopard)
29, Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox)
30, Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling)

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