Ferrari wins GP Lugano following near disaster
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ferrari wins GP Lugano following near disaster

by Samuel Morrison at 11:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Italian Roberto Ferrari (De Rosa-Stac Plastic) won a rain-soaked GP Lugano today from an escape group of seven. His win came after 142.8 kilometres, 35.7 less than the organisers had planned.

The organisers decided to cut one of the race's five 35.7-kilometre circuits after Simon Spilak (Lampre-Farnese Vini) crashed head on with a car that made its way onto the course. Spilak and the two others who crashed with him were unharmed, but the car had left its mark on the race.

The incident happened on the third circuit, after the riders had been racing in the rain for two hours and the main group had caught an escape of 25. The escape, with Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and GP Insubria winner Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), had enjoyed a lead of two minutes at one point.

"Let's stop for a while," Spilak's team-mate, Cunego, said immediately after the crash. He recounted later that Spilak landed on the car's hood and that the incident looked more serious than it eventually was.

The organiser reacted, partly due to the cold and wet weather, by cutting the race short by one circuit. The race re-started, but some riders had already decided to stop for the day.

"I was for continuing," said Basso, who did continue. "Maybe it would have been better if I had listened to our sports director and stopped." World Champion Cadel Evans and all of his BMC Racing team-mates stopped racing with around 100 others.

Ferrari, who was one of the original 25 escapees, continued and he was repaid with a win. He joined an escape group of seven and won in a sprint ahead of Jure Kocjan (CarmioOro-NGC) and Giampaolo Cheula (Footon-Servetto).

"The win came after a hard fought final lap," said Ferrari, "but the incident [with the car] took away some of the race's importance."


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