Neo-pro Matteo Pelucchi takes Geox-TMC's first 2011 win at Clasica de Almeria
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Neo-pro Matteo Pelucchi takes Geox-TMC's first 2011 win at Clasica de Almeria

by Jered Gruber at 3:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Duarte's second in Lugano and Pelucchi's win makes for a great day for Geox-TMC

The new Geox-TMC team got its first ever victory today at the Clasica de Almeria. The team has been threatening for some time now, but today the threatenings came to an end. Former U23 World Champion, Fabio Duarte, came oh so close to grabbing the first win at the GP Lugano, but couldn't get the better of a stellar Ivan Basso in a two-up sprint. Duarte's second place was followed by the elusive first win. The win didn't come from one of the team's established stars, but rather one of its budding stars: recently turned 22 year old Matteo Pelucchi.

Pelucchi had already managed a 4th place finish in the final stage of the Tour of Oman, but jumped three spots higher on the podium today in southern Spain in the race's traditional bunch sprint.

The Lecco native defeated Movistar's seasoned fastman, Jose Joaquin Rojas, by millimeters. Behind the two nearly dead-locked sprinters, Dutchman just coming off a solid six day season, Pim Ligthart of Vacansoleil, followed in third.

"I'm thrilled," says Pelucchi in a team press release. "This is a beautiful day for me. Not only am I happy to celebrate my first victory as a pro, but I also am glad to have given the team the first season win. This victory is the result of a job well done in the first part of the season. I came out of the Tours of Qatar and Oman in great shape. A big thanks to all my teammates; everyone worked really well for the entire day, and they set me up to give it my best in the great final sprint."

The race was marked by aggression; the first big break went clear early on and contained a number of big names, including such luminaries as Christian Vande Velde and the ever present, Jens Voigt. The large move was eventually brought back into the fold by a concerted effort from behind. When that group's time at the head of affairs came to a close, the next move went, and it came from an unlikely culprit, Francisco Ventoso. Ventoso, a noted sprinter, took his second win of the season in the third stage of the Ruta del Sol last week, then suffered a terrible crash the next day. Obviously sufficiently recovered from his crash, the Spaniard set off alone before being joined by Victor Cavedo (Orbea) and the ever aggressive Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil.

Rabobank and a number of other teams worked hard to bring back the leading trio, putting all of their forces into helping Theo Bos take a second consecutive victory. A team of sprinters took turns at the front for Bos, including Freire, Graeme Brown, and Michael Matthews. Unfortunately, a crash early in the race led to Bos retiring late in the day and leaving Rabobank cast adrift after giving everything for Bos.

With five kilometers to go, the trio was finally put to rest and brought back into the fold, setting up a big bunch kick. Despite Rabobank's big efforts at the front all day, they were still in perfect position heading into the final kilometer. With 400 meters to go, things were still looking good for both Oscar Freire and Michael Matthews, but moments later, they nearly ended up in the race fencing, ruining any chances at a high finish. Freire still managed 11th place, but nowhere near the race deciders.

Pelucchi managed to just squeak by Rojas for Geox-TMC's first win. It's an excellent first win for the team and comes on the heels of a number of solid results so far this season for the team. The first win and Duarte's second place as well today will certainly help Geox-TMC's case as they hope for wild card selection to May's Giro d'Italia. The team, which can lay claim to victories in all three Grand Tours through Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre, will be holding their breath until March 7th when the wild card invitations are announced by Giro organizers, RCS.


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2011 Clasica de Almeria Results (177.6 km)

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
ita ITA 1 Matteo Pelucchi (Geox-TMC) 04:22:56
esp ESP 2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar Team) s.t.
ned NED 3 Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 4 Christophe Laborie (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
pol POL 5 Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
esp ESP 6 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Caja Rural) s.t.
esp ESP 7 Diego Milan Jimenez (Caja Rural) s.t.
ger GER 8 Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) s.t.
pol POL 9 Michal Golas (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
esp ESP 10 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
esp ESP 11 Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank) s.t.
nzl NZL 12 Julian Dean (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
esp ESP 13 Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 14 Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
esp ESP 15 Adrian Saez De Arregi Egurrola (Orbea Continental) s.t.
ned NED 16 Michel Kreder (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
slo SLO 17 Marko Kump (Geox-TMC) s.t.
can CAN 18 Christian Meier (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) s.t.
pol POL 19 Tomasz Marczynski (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
pol POL 20 Marek Rutkiewicz (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
esp ESP 21 Beñat Urain Epelde (Orbea Continental) s.t.
esp ESP 22 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Geox-TMC) s.t.
esp ESP 23 Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Orbea Continental) s.t.
pol POL 24 Blazej Janiaczyk (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
esp ESP 25 David Gutierrez Gutierrez (Geox-TMC) s.t.
esp ESP 26 Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
bel BEL 27 Gert Dockx (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
esp ESP 28 Alan Perez Lezaun (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 29 Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Orbea Continental) s.t.
esp ESP 30 Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Orbea Continental) s.t.
aus AUS 31 Michael Matthews (Rabobank) s.t.
por POR 32 Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
ned NED 33 Dennis Van Winden (Rabobank) s.t.
fra FRA 34 Jean-Lou Paiani (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
bel BEL 35 Francis De Greef (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
ger GER 36 Jens Voigt (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
bel BEL 37 Olivier Kaisen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
pol POL 38 Lukasz Bodnar (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
aut AUT 39 Stefan Denifl (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
ukr UKR 40 Oleg Chuzhda (Caja Rural) s.t.
esp ESP 41 Manuel Ortega Ocaña (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
chi CHI 42 Carlos Ivan Oyarzun Guiñez (Movistar Team) s.t.
bel BEL 43 Mario Aerts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
usa USA 44 Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
esp ESP 45 Igor Anton Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 46 Ruben Martinez Hernandez (Caja Rural) s.t.
pol POL 47 Adrian Honkisz (CCC Polsat-Polkowice) s.t.
esp ESP 48 Jose Luis Cano Losa (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
esp ESP 49 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Movistar Team) s.t.
esp ESP 50 Eloy Ruiz Pinto (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
usa USA 51 Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
esp ESP 52 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
ned NED 53 Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 54 Guillaume Levarlet (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
den DEN 55 Anders Lund (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
esp ESP 56 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Geox-TMC) s.t.
lux LUX 57 Fränk Schleck (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
esp ESP 58 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
irl IRL 59 Daniel Martin (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ned NED 60 Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ned NED 61 Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
esp ESP 62 Joaquin Sobrino Martinez (Caja Rural) s.t.
esp ESP 63 Xabier Zabalo Imaz (Orbea Continental) s.t.
fra FRA 64 Paul Poux (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
ukr UKR 65 Ruslan Pidgornyy (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
fra FRA 66 Jean-Marc Marino (Saur-Sojasun) 00:00:12
ita ITA 67 Alberto Ongarato (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:18
esp ESP 68 Oscar Pujol Muñoz (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:00:24
aus AUS 69 Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) 00:00:25
fra FRA 70 Sébastien Joly (Saur-Sojasun) 00:00:29
blr BLR 71 Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar Team) 00:00:31
ita ITA 72 Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil-DCM) 00:00:39
ned NED 73 Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank) s.t.
aus AUS 74 Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) s.t.
bel BEL 75 Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
bel BEL 76 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
fra FRA 77 Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun) 00:00:48
esp ESP 78 Victor Cabedo Carda (Orbea Continental) 00:00:54
ltu LTU 79 Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar Team) 00:01:07
esp ESP 80 Aritz Etxebarria Etxebarria (Orbea Continental) 00:01:18
ned NED 81 Stef Clement (Rabobank) 00:01:54
fra FRA 82 Cyril Bessy (Saur-Sojasun) s.t.
usa USA 83 Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
esp ESP 84 Julian Sanchez Pimienta (Caja Rural) s.t.
esp ESP 85 Jose Vicente Toribio Alcolea (Andalucia-Caja Granada) 00:02:51
esp ESP 86 Jose Luis Roldan Carmona (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
esp ESP 87 Juan Javier Estrada Ruiz (Andalucia-Caja Granada) s.t.
esp ESP 88 Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Geox-TMC) s.t.
esp ESP 89 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar Team) s.t.
esp ESP 90 Javier Moreno Bazan (Caja Rural) s.t.
esp ESP 91 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Movistar Team) s.t.
usa USA 92 Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) s.t.

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