Giro d’Italia: Gadret shocks himself with third at Plan de Corones
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Gadret shocks himself with third at Plan de Corones

by Ben Atkins at 2:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Cyclocross specialist can't believe podium spot in mountain time trial

John GadretJohn Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale) took third place in the mountain time trial from San Vigilio di Marebbe to the Plan de Corones, surprising even himself. The former French cyclocross champion finished just 54 seconds behind stage winner Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone).

“I still can’t believe it,” said Gadret afterwards. “When I crossed the finish line I was in second place but I thought that the other riders were going to beat me; in the end only one did!”

World champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) took second place, 42 seconds behind Garzelli and 12 ahead of Gadret.

As a cyclocross rider Gadret is no stranger to riding on rough surfaces, but the Frenchman exceeded his own expectations against the quality of the opposition. “I’m super-happy with this!” he continued. “I knew that this type of climb suited me but for me to beat riders like Basso, Nibali, Vinokourov…”

“It’s also a great performance from the team with the 12th place of Hubert [Dupont],” he added, “that’s really good. There’s a super environment in the group and it also gives pleasure to our three teammates who have abandoned. They’re not here but this is also a beautiful “perfect” for them! Now, I’m going to take the stages from day to day, as I have been until now, and we’ll see what they bring.”

Gadret has risen from 18th to 17th in the overall classification, but as he still trails race leader David Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne) by 21’07” he is too far back to mount any sort of challenge. With three mountain stages to go though the Frenchman still has plenty of opportunities to get a result.

The Giro d’Italia is a race that seems to suit Gadret. As predominantly a road rider, he rose to road fame at the 2006 race where his climbing earned him a number of top ten finishes. These included sixth place on the stage to Passo di Furcia, the stage that was to have been the race’s first visit to the Plan de Corones that was shortened by foul weather. Unfortunately he crashed on stage 18 on the road to Gemona del Friuli and broke his collarbone, forcing him to abandon just three days from the finish in Milan.

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