Damiano Cunego abandons Vuelta al Pais Vasco
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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Damiano Cunego abandons Vuelta al Pais Vasco

by Ben Atkins at 6:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
 
Lampre-ISD captain will not start fifth stage but return to Italy for training

damiano cunego

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) will not start tomorrow’s fifth stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after being dropped by the leaders on today’s steep final climb of Alto Arrate to the stage finish in Eibar. The 29-year-old from Verona has been riding the Basque Tour to make up for missed racing in March; he was forced to sit out the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali with an ear infection, and is working towards his targets later in the month.

"I thought I could do better,” said Cunego, “but I also knew well that I'm not at the same level as the top riders of the race. I took part in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, which was not in my programme, with the aim of working hard in order to recover the race days that I had lost because of otitis.

“The targets are the Ardennes Classics,” he added, “so I needed to race against the top riders and I think that is a normal thing that I'm making efforts.”

Cunego crossed the line in 30th place, 1’43” behind stage winner Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), alongside teammate Przemyslaw Niemiec. He has dropped from seventh to 18th overall, and now trails Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) by 1’49”.

“After today’s stage I was no longer in the top of the overall standings and on Saturday there will be a time trial that won't have helped me, so I thought that it would have been better to come home."

He will now fly home to Italy to resume his training for his big targets in the Ardennes later in the month.

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