Giro d’Italia: Lampre-Merida capitalises on Mauro Santambrogio’s “crisis day”
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Giro d’Italia: Lampre-Merida capitalises on Mauro Santambrogio’s “crisis day”

by Ben Atkins at 5:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Niemiec misses out on a stage win but he and Scarponi move up a place overall

mauro santambrogioPrzemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida) was disappointed to miss out on a victory in today’s 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia, between Valloire and Ivrea, as he was beaten to the line by Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) and Tanel Kangert (Astana) in a three-up sprint. The Polish rider did have the consolation, however, of moving up a place overall, as Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) was dropped by the overall contenders on the steep final climb.

“I knew Intxausti was the fastest in a sprint, so I tried to anticipate him, it did but it wasn’t enough,” said Niemiec after the stage. “Although I missed a good chance to get an outstanding victory, I'm satisfied, because I've moved up a place in the overall classification.

Niemiec jumped from sixth to fifth at the expense of Santambrogio, as the race heads towards three tough mountain stages, starting with Thursday’s uphill time trial from Mori to Polsa.

“I know I'll need to fight hard in the next stages to retain this position,” said Niemiec, “and I'm ready to do it”.

Also capitalising on having dropped Santambrogio was Niemiec’s Lampre-Merida teammate Michele Scarponi, who jumps from fifth to fourth, and is now just one place off the overall podium.

“The rest day did nothing to stop the increasing good feelings that I noticed on the Col du Galibier,” Scarponi explained. “So, today I tried to attack to test the responses of my opponents, to show that I'm still willing to battle for my targets.

“I did not know Santambrogio was dropped on the climb, but of course I'm happy that Niemiec and I could improve our position in the overall classification,” he added. “Nibali still rules, I focus my attention of podium as goal. The team is strong and Niemiec and I are a very competitive duo.”

Santambrogio himself suffered what he referred to as a “crisis day”, as he was unable to stay with the rest of the overall contenders as they accelerated up the steep climb to Andrate with just under 25km to go. The Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider can console himself with his stage 14 Bardonecchia victory, however, which was what had lifted him so high in the general classification in the first place.

"Many people had predicted a crisis day for me, and finally it has arrived,” he said. “I am calm, serene, and I have nothing to worry about. My Giro has been fantastic anyway and I'll do my best to arrive at Brescia in the better position possible.”

"Maybe today I made an Error today, I could have ordered everyone to stay with Mauro today,” admitted Vini Fantini-Selle Italia directeur sportif Luca Scinto, “but the recover in [Oscar] Gatto in the descent has helped limited the damage.

“A day of crisis is normal, it normally comes to everyone,” he explained. “Maybe we should have understood it before, but the last mountain was harder than we expected. Unfortunately, we paid for the rest day today, the long period of form and perhaps - as it should be - a bit of relaxation after the victory.

"We're still doing a superlative Giro,” Scinto added. “Even today we were in the breakaway [with Matteo Rabottini and Danilo Di Luca - ed], every day we have animated the race, and on Saturday we won one of the most important and legendary stages. In short, our Giro is, and remains, superb.

“We are now looking resolutely to the next few days, and certainly we will continue to fight for our position.”


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