Paolini has near-miss in Giro d’Italia crash, maintains race lead going into day six
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Paolini has near-miss in Giro d’Italia crash, maintains race lead going into day six

by VeloNation Press at 7:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Dream debut continues for Italian veteran

Luca PaoliniAlthough he missed out on what he felt could have been a good opportunity for another big stage result, Luca Paolini avoided damage in a big pileup near the end of yesterday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia and continues to lead overall.

The Italian rider, who triumphed on Monday’s third stage and took over the Maglia Rosa, said afterwards that he was relieved to stay out of trouble.

“It was a harder race than we could expect because of bad weather and high pace. Anyway, I am happy I kept the pink jersey,” he stated. “In the end there was a crash and I couldn’t avoid it. It’s a pity because the final was suitable to my characteristics."

While he was caught up in the crash, he didn’t suffer any injuries. “I was well positioned with a team-mate [Angel Vicioso] who wanted to sprint. I was there to help him and get a good placing myself,” he explained. “Logically, the riders who wanted to get round the corner first took a few risks. I saw the fall, and luckily, I landed on my feet.”

Vicioso was impeded by the fall but recovered to take second behind John Degenkolb (Argos Shimano). Paolini would have liked to have seen his team-mate top the podium, particularly after the support he has been given. “I am sorry for Angel Vicioso: the team is working great for me, so they deserve a victory too.”

Although Paolini is Italian, he is only now making his debut in his national Tour at 36 years of age. He’s made up for lost time, taking that stage win plus the leader’s jersey. Things have been dizzing, but also much appreciated by him.

“This Maglia Rosa is giving me a taste of the Giro in concentrated form. I’m experiencing all the good things: the people, the Maglia Rosa, being recognized on the road, people calling my name, the respect of the peloton. I’ve had them in the past, but never like this.”

He maintains a seventeen second lead over Team Sky’s Rigoberto Uran, and also heads the points classification. Today’s 169 kilometre stage runs from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia and with a bunch sprint expected, Paolini looks set to hold on at the top.

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