Alexandr Kolobnev disappointed in Lombardia DNF
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Alexandr Kolobnev disappointed in Lombardia DNF

by Jered Gruber at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Wet, treacherous roads spell the demise of pre-race contender

Russian national champion, Alexandr Kolobnev, has made a career of excellent late season showings. Sure, the 29 year old has managed some fine results in the early season, namely 2nd place at this year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but Kolobnev is consistently amongst the best once the end of the year draws nigh.

Kolobnev rode a relatively quiet Vuelta a Espana, but did manage a top 30 overall with 29th. He then made the journey to Australia with hopes of bettering his previous podium appearances at the World Championship road race, only to come up short in 7th in the select group sprint that crowned Thor Hushovd as World Champion.

Six days after his solid ride in Australia, Kolobnev managed 4th place at the race that provides no room for hiding - the Giro dell'Emilia. The stage was set for Kolobnev to jump up the final two steps on the podium at the Giro di Lombardia following an excellent 3rd last year behind on the King of October, Philippe Gilbert, and another fall stalwart, Samuel Sanchez.

Unfortunately, horrible weather conditions and slick roads due to a long dry spell conspired against the aggressive Russian on Saturday's Race of the Falling Leaves.

Only 34 riders out of 196 starters managed to cross the finish line in Como on Saturday afternoon. Kolobnev was one of the retirees, a victim of an early, wet crash.

Kolobnev was able to get back up, but his race effectively ended on the wet pavement early on.

"I went for 110 kilometers, but the legs were not as strong as they were at the beginning, and I had to quit," said a disappointed, frustrated Kolobnev on his website on Sunday.

Kolobnev had gone into Saturday's Giro di Lombardia as one of the hot favorites, but admits that it wasn't his legs that let him down following his crash, but rather his head.

"These are not physical injuries that I have. It's all in your head. Yesterday, I really thought that I could win in the end."

The Katusha leader for the one day classics will start his winter with a fire in his belly and will hope to make the jump up to the pinnacle of the sport in 2011 with a long struggled for major Classics victory.

The Russian champion is currently still in Italy, but is preparing to make the journey to Mexico for the Criterium de Chihuahua on Friday.


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