Lampre-ISD tried everything to beat Cadel Evans but failed
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Lampre-ISD tried everything to beat Cadel Evans but failed

by Ben Atkins at 9:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tirreno-Adriatico
Blue-fuchsia team unable to dislodge race leader on the steep climb to Macerata

michele scarponiThe Lampre-ISD team started the sixth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, between Ussita and Macerata, with its two captains poised threateningly just behind race leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing). Damiano Cunego sat in third place, just 3 seconds behind, with Michele Scarponi in fourth, 5 seconds back. Despite throwing everything at Evans in the latter part of the stage they were unable to dislodge the Australian, although Scarponi moved up to second place.

"Unfortunately the performance put in by the whole team wasn’t reflected in the result,” said sports director Valerio Tebaldi. “We tried to make as hard a race in the closing stages as possible; Cunego was placed at the disposal of Scarponi, putting in two accelerations at the front of the group of favourites.”

By the end of the stage Cunego had slipped to sixth overall, thanks to the work he put in on the final climb.

“Thanks to Damiano’s work, Michele attacked,” explained Tebaldi, “with the intent of opening the largest gap possible but, after reaching the last false flat, there was a moment of hesitation that allowed Evans to come back. At that point, Scarponi tried to limit the damage in the sprint to the finish.”

Although Scarponi now trails Evans by 9 seconds, Tebaldi is optimistic that the final 9.3km time trial provides one final opportunity to dislodge the Australian.

“There still remains tomorrow’s time trial,” he said, “where our riders will put maximum effort with the aim of capitalising on the good work that has been done up to now."

For Scarponi, the 31-year-old felt that he had done all the could but was just unable to defeat a superior Evans on the day.

"I put every possible energy into the pedals, but this was not enough to beat an Evans in great condition,” he said. “Damiano and I put in a really strong effort on the first part of the climb, then I had a slowing down in sight of the final ramp, but I gritted my teeth to at least get a place."

In the event he managed to outsprint Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) to take third place, with the 4-second time bonus meaning he only conceded 6 to stage winner Evans.

"We tried to attack, we had no other choice if we wanted to take second in the overall classification,” explained Cunego. “I set a high pace from the start of the final climb, but the course made it possible for the favourites that had been left behind to get back together."


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