Giro del Trentino: Vincenzo Nibali seizes final victory on the steep climb to Sega di Ala
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Giro del Trentino: Vincenzo Nibali seizes final victory on the steep climb to Sega di Ala

by Ben Atkins at 10:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Stage win and overall for Astana rider as mechanical costs Bradley Wiggins

vincenzo nibaliVincenzo Nibali (Astana) seized overall victory in the 2013 Giro del Trentino with an attack on the final climb to the finish of the fourth and final stage, between Arco and Sega di Ala. The 28-year-old Giro d’Italia hopeful managed to leave behind a group containing most of the other overall race favourites on the steepest part of the climb and, along with Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), managed to open up a winning margin.

Dropping Santambrogio in the final uphill kilometre of the 166.8km stage, Nibali rode on to take a solo victory, with time to celebrate long before he reached the line. The Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider managed to keep Nibali in sight, but was not able to make it back up to him and crossed the line eight seconds behind.

Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) took third place, despite the presence of Nibali’s Astana teammate Fabio Aru on his wheel for much of the final few kilometres. The Italian allowed the 32-year-old Polish rider to roll over the line to take the final four second time bonus, but he was no threat the the Astana team leader in the general classification.

“Winning on a climb like this is the biggest thing for me right now,” said Nibali after the stage. “There are still a couple of weeks to the Giro, and [Team Sky’s Bradley] Wiggins remains my main rival, but I saw both [BMC Racing’s Cadel] Evans and [Cannondale’s Ivan] Basso in clear progression.

“As for myself, I am very glad to be able to rely on a strong team, that hasn’t made a mistake in tactical terms either here or at Tirreno-Adriatico,” he continued.

When asked about Sunday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Vincenzo confesses: “Today I spent a lot of energy, and I got a number of strong rivals. We will see.”

Overnight leader Maxime Bouet (AG2R La Mondiale) was unable to cope with the pace set by the big climbers in the race and - even though he started the day 3’57” ahead of Nibali - had conceded all this and more by the time he reached the line.

Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) started the day nine seconds ahead of Nibali, but the much-anticipated dual between the two riders failed to materialise after a mechanical problem saw the British rider forced to change his bike on the early part of the climb and he was unable to regain contact.

Ten riders get a small gap early but the big names are ready to fight it out

A ten-rider group escaped after just ten kilometres on the first climb of the day, the Passo San Uldarico. In the group were Edoardo Zardini and Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat Polkowice), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) and Amaro Antunes (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest). Despite Txurruka being the best place in the group at 9’47” behind Bouet in the general classification, the group was never allowed to get more than 2’30” clear of the peloton.

The break’s lead peaked at around 100km into the stage, but came down steadily on the 2nd category climb to Brentonico; as the ten riders arrived at the foot of the steep, 12km final climb to the finish, they were only 40 seconds clear.

Immediately the climb began the group began to split and, with eight kilometres to go, they were quickly swept up by the head of the peloton. As the group climbed higher and higher, more and more riders found themselves drifting off the back; including Bouet, whose seemingly comfortable lead of 3’19” over Kanstantin Siutsou (Team Sky) was beginning to look shaky.

The race was now heading towards the expected mano-a-mano fight between Nibali and Wiggins, but disaster suddenly struck for Wiggins. As Nibali’s Astana teammate Paolo Tiralongo increased the tempo a little on the front of the leading group, the Tour de France champion suffered a mechanical issue with his bike and ground to a halt; throwing the bike across the road it rolled to a stop against the wall as if he’d placed it there deliberately and, taking a new one from his team car, Wiggins faced a long solo chase to get back on.

The group was not waiting for the British rider, however, and was soon reduced to just Nibali and Tiralongo, Santambrogio, Evans, Niemec and Stefano Locatelli (Bardiani-CSF). With three kilometres to go, however, Nibali accelerated and only Santambrogio was able to follow.

The two leaders opened quickly opened up a lead over the rest until, inside the final kilometre, Nibali kicked again and left the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider behind. Despite Santambrogio’s stubborn resistance, the Astana rider managed to hold him off all the way to the line; his long celebration costing him seconds, which may have proved vital.

Bouet eventually crossed the line after 4’42”, however, having had Siutsou sitting on his wheel for the final few kilometres, and slipped to third overall behind Nibali and Santambrogio.

Result stage 4
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Team Astana
2. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia @ 8s
3. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida @ 44s
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Astana
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team @ 1’02”
6. Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 1’10”
7. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 1’35”
8. Marco Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA @ 1’37”
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky @ 1’39”
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar @ 2’20”

Final overall standings
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Team Astana
2. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia @ 21s
3. Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale @ 55s
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Astana @ 1’16”
5. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky @ 1’40”
6. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida @ 1’45”
7. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 2’15”
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team @ 2’18”
9. Stefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 3’05”
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar @ 3’22”

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