Giro d’Italia: Francisco Ventoso joins the sprinters exodus
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Giro d’Italia: Francisco Ventoso joins the sprinters exodus

by Ben Atkins at 9:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Spanish sprinter heads for the door as the mountains loom

francisco ventosoFrancisco Ventoso (Movistar) has joined the exodus of sprinters, heading for the door now that the Giro d’Italia is heading towards the high mountains. With no more stages that suit their characteristics Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) have already announced their retirement from the race; now Ventoso has elected to follow them.

Having won the sixth stage of the race, between Orvieto and Fiuggi Terme, and so is going home satisfied.

"I couldn’t be happier with my performance in the Giro," said the Spaniard, who turned 29 the day before the race began. “I have achieved the goal that that I set myself at the start, which was to win a stage, and that makes me feel very proud.”

The last time Ventoso rode one of the three Grand Tours was the 2007 Tour de France, as a Saunier Duval-Prodir rider; he failed to achieve any results though, and abandoned the race midway through.

“My return to a Grand Tour after four years of absence couldn’t be better,” he said. “I am more mature and compete, which is why the results are coming."

Ventoso also courted controversy during the race, accusing Cavendish of holding onto his team car as the peloton climbed Mount Etna last Sunday.

The Movistar sprinter began his season at the Tour Down Under, where he won the fifth stage. He followed this with strong rides, including a second place, in the Challenge Mallorca races, then took a stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia. After Tirreno-Adriatico, he took eleventh at Milano-Sanremo, before heading north for the cobbled Classics.

Prior to the Giro, he took two stages of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, but now his race is over he is looking forward to some time off.

"Now to rest at home and we'll see look at a quieter calendar because I had a very strong start to the season," he concluded.

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