Damiano Cunego sad but optimistic after Strade Bianche
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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Damiano Cunego sad but optimistic after Strade Bianche

by Ben Atkins at 1:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 
Little Prince is disappointed with the result but happy with his early season form

damiano cunegoDamiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) came close to his second win of the season in today’s Montepaschi Strade Bianche, but was beaten by Belgian classics superstar Philippe Gilbert (OmegaPharma-Lotto) and former World champion Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) in the final sprint across the paved Piazza del Campo in the centre of the mediaeval Tuscan hilltop city of Siena.

Having missed the twelve-man move, which escaped on the first section of white road, the blue-fuchsia team attempted to send Vasiliy Buts up to it mid-race; the attempt failed though and so Cunego’s men were forced to dictate the pace of the chasing pack.

"I'm pleased with my performance and with the support the team gave me, the only regret is failing to turn everything into a victory,” said Cunego. “I could count on a bike set up perfectly by our mechanics, and on my team that controlled the race after we were not able to put a man in the main breakaway.”

The team controlled the race well, with the cooperation of other teams like Liquigas-Cannondale and Leopard Trek, and was instrumental in the decisive split that reduced the main group to just 20 riders in the final 8km.

For the ‘Piccolo Principe’ though, the disappointment in the result is tempered slightly by the knowledge that his own personal form, and that of his team, is good as the big races of the spring approach.

“As mentioned in previous races at the beginning of this season,” he said, “I had good feelings and so I knew that I could compete for the victory. Unluckily, Gilbert too was in great shape and so I was denied the victory.

“Anyway,” he added, “if my form is the same in the coming races, I will soon have the opportunity to achieve some important results".

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