Former world under 23 champion Grabovskyy getting back on track
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Former world under 23 champion Grabovskyy getting back on track

by Conal Andrews at 7:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

The Ukrainian rider Dmytro Grabovskyy took his biggest success in quite a while yesterday when he finished up as the final winner of the mountains classification in Tirreno-Adriatico.

He took the lead in the contest on the first day of the race, going clear early on in the 148km stage to Risignano Solvay and staying away close to the end. That earned him the green mountains jersey, and while he was briefly overtaken by his ISD-Neri team-mate Diego Caccia and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), he was part of a big breakaway group on stage five to Colmurano and seized it back.

He ended the race with 20 points, eight more than Caccia. "I am happy about this jersey, this is a great satisfaction,” he said. “But now I have to do well in Sanremo.

"We had a nice Tirreno, my team-mates helped me to win the green jersey. Now I hope to help my teammates during Milano-San Remo, also doing some beautiful things [for them]."

It is a promising turnaround for the talented 24 year old, who admitted to La Gazzetta dello Sport in January that he has been battling with drink problems.

“After some disappointments with Quick Step I ended up on the wrong path,” he said then. “I was bored and went after training to the coast to party and to drink. I twice escaped death by alcohol poisoning. But I drank vodka and never used drugs.”

Fortunately, he says that he is back to full health. “This turbulent period is over…my life is rehabilitated. Now there’s only water in my refrigerator.”

Winner of the under 23 world road race championship in Madrid back in 2005, he took a stage in the Baby Giro, the overall classification in the Giro delle Regioni and his second consecutive European TT championship victory the following season.

However he failed to land any significant results during a contract with Quick Step between 2007 and 2008. He was dropped by them and moved to ISD Neri for 2009, but didn’t achieve much.

Grabovskyy was left without a contract for this season but, having sorted himself out, ISD Neri gave him one more chance.

He rewarded that trust, riding very strongly in support of Jose Rujano in the recent Tour de Langkawi and helping him win the race. He also landed third place for himself on stage three. His Tirreno-Adriatico ride suggests he’s serious about giving this season a real shot, and he will continue to build towards what he – and his team – hope will be a strong Giro d’Italia in May.

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