Androni Giocattoli team time trial puts Emanuele Sella into Coppi-Bartali lead
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Androni Giocattoli team time trial puts Emanuele Sella into Coppi-Bartali lead

by Ben Atkins at 1:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Disaster strikes Liquigas-Cannondale as entire team crashes in final kilometre

Emanuele SellaVictory for Androni Giocattoli in the stage 1b team time trial has put team leader Emanuele Sella into the race lead. The white and blue team completed the 15.6km course, that started and finished in the Emilia Romagna resort of Riccione, in a time of 18’32”, 5 seconds faster than both the Lampre-ISD and FDJ teams.

With only the time bonuses from the morning’s stage 1a dividing the peloton the rest of the Androni Giocattoli team dominates the top of the overall standings behind Sella.

“I never thought I could win a team time trial in my life,” said Sella to La Gazzetta dello Sportafter the stage. “But even if of five out of the eight-man team is made up of climbers, we’ve succeeded. How? Simple: we started it all and we went to the maximum.

“And the jersey was a welcome surprise,” he added, “the goal was always to ride for [José] Serpa, but this morning [in stage 1a] I finished nineteenth and José twenty-ninth.

“This was a team victory,” he explained, “in which I have done less than the others; if my teammates were on the front for 300 metres, I was limited to 100 so as not to lower the speed. However, I consider it a small step forward, another small step towards the Giro d’Italia, which is my big goal this year.”

While the Androni Giocattoli team was surprised to finish first, the Liquigas-Cannondale team was certainly surprised to finish last. Disaster struck for the acid-green team when five of its six remaining riders crashed inside the final kilometre; only Paolo Longo Borghini remained upright and by the time the others had crossed the line they recorded a time of 21’09” and last place.

“Time references on the course indicated that we were on for the win,” explained team director Paolo Slongo, “but a wrong movement during one of the last changes caused a crash; everyone but Longo Borghini ended up on the ground.”

Of the fallen riders only Alessandro Vanotti was taken to hospital having taken a blow to his back; it’s not yet known if he will be starting tomorrow’s stage.

Result stage 1b
1. Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
2. Lampre-ISD (Ita) @ 5s
3. FDJ (Fra)
4. Colnago-CSF Inox (Irl) @ 13s
5. Adria Mobil (Slo) @ 15s
6. Team Type 1-Sanofi Aventis (USA) @ 23s
7. Geox-TMC (Spa)
8. De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia (Irl) @ 24s
9. Acqua & Sapone (Ita) @ 25s
10. UnitedHealthcare (USA) @ 28s

Standings after stage 1b
1. Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
2. Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni Giocattoli
3. Jose Serpa (Col) Androni Giocattoli
4. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Androni Giocattoli
5. José Rujano (Ven) Androni Giocattoli


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