Tirreno Adriatico: Scarponi seizes stage win and race lead
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tirreno Adriatico: Scarponi seizes stage win and race lead

by VeloNation Press at 12:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Androni Giocattoli rider Michele Scarponi stamped his authority on this year’s Tirreno Adriatico, speeding to a dominant victory on today’s fourth stage of the race.

The 30 year old Italian soloed across to the day’s breakaway and then continued alone, hitting the line in Chieti fourteen seconds ahead of three chasers, namely Benoit Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux), his own team-mate Leonardo Bertagnolli and Stefano Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone).

Maxim Iglinsky (Astana), Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and world champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) finished three seconds further back.

Just as he did last year, Scarponi took over the race lead with his stage-winning effort. He’s now 18 seconds ahead of Vaugrenard and 20 up on Bertagnolli.

The stage saw a break of seven riders stay clear for most of the 243 kilometres, with Italian champion Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) joining up with Vasil Kiryienka (Caisse d'Epargne), Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Maarten Wynants (Quick Step), Marco Frapporti (Colnago), Paolo Longo Borghini (ISD-Neri) and Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale).

These built a maximum lead of eight and a half minutes by the halfway distance, but then the chase behind saw the gap begin to tumble.

As the time gap shrunk, several riders tried to get clear of the bunch and bridge across. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was one of the aggressors but while he managed to open a gap, he was eventually reeled in. Jose Serpa also scarpered clear, only to crash, hit the deck, and lose his chance.

With six kilometres to go the bunch was still one minute and 20 seconds back. Normally that would be more than enough, but with most of that being uphill, it made it very possible that a strong rider could bridge across.

Kiryienka wasn’t taking any chances and attacked very soon afterwards, building a decent lead on his former breakaway companions. Pérez set off in pursuit but couldn’t get across. Behind, Scarponi, Vincenzo Nibali and Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) were chasing hard and, with just over four kilometres remaining, Scarponi burst clear and rapidly closed down the leader.

He caught him with 3.5 kilometres remaining, making the junction on one of the steepest sections, and immediate pressed on alone. Those chasing behind worked together to try to get him back but a smoothly-pedalling Scarponi was motoring and continued to build his lead.

He hit the line well clear of Vaugrenard, who won the sprint behind and celebrated as if he had won the stage. Overnight race leader Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) struggled on the climbs, as expected, and finished almost twelve minutes back. Stage one victor Linus Gerdemann (Milram) also found the pace too high, and lost over a minute and any chance of winning the race.

The Historic Calendar event continues tomorrow with a shortened 216 kilometre stage to Colmurano.


Tirreno-Adriatico, Italy, HIS (Historical Calendar), March 10-16:

March 13, Stage 4: San Gemini – Chieti:

1, Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) 243 kilometres in 6 hours 23 mins 48 secs
2, Benoit Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) at 14 secs
3, Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni Giocattoli)
4, Stefano Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone)
5, Rigoberto Urán (Caisse d'Epargne) all same time
6, Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) at 17 secs
7, Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
8, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) both same time

General classification after stage 4:

1, Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) 18 hours 8 mins 14 secs
2, Benoit Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux) at 18 secs
3, Leonardo Bertagnolli (Androni Giocattoli) at 20 secs
4, Stefano Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone) at 24 secs
5, Rigoberto Urán (Caisse d'Epargne) same time
6, Cadel Evans (BMC) at 26 secs
7, Maxim Iglinskyi (Astana) at 27 secs
8, Robert Gesink (Rabobank) same time


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