Last push sees young guns target strong Lombardy result
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last push sees young guns target strong Lombardy result

by Conal Andrews at 11:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Giro di Lombardia

With the 2009 season drawing rapidly to a close, riders are pushing hard to finish up with some decent results. The Giro di Lombardia is the biggest race left and many are using thoughts of a strong ride there as motivation . It’s late in the year, many thousands of kilometres have been covered and it’s high time for a break, but the Italian Classic helps keeps the mind focussed for a couple more weeks.

Talented young climbers Chris Anker Sørensen and Daniel Martin are two of those who want to end the year in style. Danish Saxo Bank rider Sørensen finished 13th in the world road race champions, matching his result from last year’s race in Varese, and is feeling better after recent illness.

“At this moment, I’m just getting over influenza, which I got immediately after the championships in Mendrisio,” the 25 year old said on his website. “I was already a little sick going into the race and it is probably not the healthiest thing for your body to compete over 260 kilometres. I have spent much of the week in bed, sleeping around 12 hours a day.

“I hope next week to be on top again. I hope to get good results in the next four races in Italy [Giro dell’Emilia, G.P. Beghelli, Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia], and also at the season-end in Japan [the Japan Cup].”

Martin is two years younger than the Danish rider and recently completed his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España. The Irishman has recovered from that and will attend the London Cycle Show this Saturday for Garmin and Felt before concentrating fully on his last two events of the year.

“I just have Giro del Piemonte and Lombardia left,” he told Velonation in recent days. “It’s all about Lombardia for me. I’ve just ridden the course and would like to be at the front.”

The Volta a Catalunya runner-up was 68th in the worlds road race, yet says that he was riding much better than that result suggests. “It wasn’t really the legs that gave way,” he said. “I crashed about half way through and hurt my back. I didn't realise it until the hammer went down near the end and my back went into spasm as it was out of place. I didn't breathe [properly] for the last lap and half. Shame…top twenty was on for sure. Hence the focus on Lombardia - I know I can race that distance now.”

Sørensen also felt a little under strength in the finale of the race in Mendrisio. However he salvaged a good performance regardless of that. “I didn’t have quite as good legs as last year,” he admitted. “The route was otherwise perfect for a rider like me, with two hard climbs per lap. I felt strong until the penultimate lap, when suddenly there was not much energy left. This phenomenon is typical for long races – when you get beyond 200 kilometres, you really are running on the reserve tank, and suddenly it is just empty.

“I therefore tried to get away before the second- last climb, thinking that maybe I could have ridden over it, and then helped Matti [Breschel, his Denmark team-mate] until the last climb. I’m very satisfied with the outcome, being thirteenth in the world championship without having super legs is not bad.”


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