Giro d’Italia: Hondo salvages bad day for Lampre
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Hondo salvages bad day for Lampre

by Ben Atkins at 1:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

danilo hondoDanilo Hondo’s fourth place on stage 3 was the one bright spot on what was otherwise a tough day for the Lampre-Farnese Vini team. Team leader Damiano Cunego was in the front group as the race entered the closing stages but was caught behind the crash that delayed race leader Cadel Evans (OmegaPharma-Lotto). Like the World champion he came in 46 seconds down on stage winner Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step), losing time to a number of overall rivals.

"What a difficult stage,” said Cunego afterwards. “Wind, crashes and big chaos: because of all these troubles and in the situation I found myself during the race, I could have lost 10 minutes.”

Cunego had previously been caught behind a split in the middle part of the stage and had been paced back to the front by the rest of the blue and fuscia squad. “Thanks to the support of the team I could join again the head of the race,” he acknowledged, “even if in the final part of the stage a crash stopped me, even though I was not involved."

"We knew it would have been a tough stage, so we asked to our cyclists to be together in case of troubles and it's what they did when Damiano had problems,” said the team’s sport director Fabrizio Bontempi.

As Cunego was being brought back up to the front of the race his teammate Alessandro Petacchi punctured, leaving the star sprinter with little chance of rejoining the front himself. “Ale-Jet” and the rest of the team were to finish in the main, 120-strong, peloton some 7’59” back.

“The team performed a good chase but bad luck hit us again immediately with Petacchi's puncture,” continued Bontempi, “[Marco] Marzano was ready to give Alessandro his wheel, since it was impossible to reach them by car because of the narrow streets. The chase was performed with the top effort, but our cyclists were very tired and HTC-Columbia raised the pace of the head of the race.”

"Yesterday I made a mistake but today bad luck stopped me,” said Petacchi after the stage. “I had puncture in the worst moment and I could not do anything else than try a very difficult chase. I hope that the beginning of bronchitis that [has been] giving me trouble since this morning will be better".

Included in the 120-strong group was two-time Giro d’Italia winner Gilberto Simoni, effectively ending all hope of the 38-year-old winning the race for a third time before he retires.

Cunego was also missed the split in yesterday’s stage into Utrecht, costing him a further 27 seconds. He is currently in 50th place, 2’07” behind Vinokourov; while Hondo sits in 21st, 28 seconds back.

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