Cantele doubles up in Mendrisio
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cantele doubles up in Mendrisio

by Ben Atkins at 3:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Noemi Cantele of Italy has finally had the good fortune that many felt she deserved at World Championships. Twice.

“It was a fantastic week!” she enthused to VeloNation after winning her second medal. “Unbelieveble!

“Many times I was close to the podium but now I got it… them,” she corrected, “in three days”

In 2006, in Salzberg, Austria she finished 4th behind Marianne Vos of the Netherlands; agonisingly just 1cm – according to the photo finish – behind bronze medallist Nicole Cooke of Great Britain. In 2007, in Stuttgart Germany (after the retrospective disqualification of Russian Svetlana Bubnenkova) she once again placed 4th; this time almost forgotten as the third Italian while Marta Bastianelli took gold and Giorgia Bronzini took bronze.

Last year the championships were held in her hometown of Varese so unsurprisingly she centred her entire season around her performance there. Heartbreakingly though, she missed the decisive break by a whisker and finished anonymously, despite chasing alone for almost half a lap. This year couldn’t be more different.

For the first time in her career she was entered into the World Championship and as Italian champion against the clock – something she also contested for the first time this season – it was felt that she might do well. “It was planned to make a good timetrial,” she had told VeloNation after surprising many, including herself, by taking the silver medal, “[as] a preparation for Saturday but I didn't expect to do so well!”

After being caught behind the break last year, the Italian team took it upon themselves to make the running in the closing stages. Cantele herself escaped alone in the latter part of the race, but despite being caught still had the legs to follow Vos and the USA’s Kristin Armstrong and take a bronze medal behind Italian teammate Tatiana Guderzo

“Today we were strong but we were perfect as a team,” she explained, “it was the only chance to beat Vos: to [have two riders] in the final”

After five years with the Swiss Bigla Cycling Team, the 28-year-old will join Team Columbia-HTC from 2010. But first a little time out:

“Now I just want to relax and understand what I have done...”

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