Michele Scarponi gives up on Vuelta classification after his legs fail to respond
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Friday, September 02, 2011

Michele Scarponi gives up on Vuelta classification after his legs fail to respond

by Ben Atkins at 4:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Giro d’Italia runner up still aiming for a stage victory

michele scarponiMichele Scaponi (Lampre-ISD) came to the Vuelta a España aiming to go one better than his runner up finish in May’s Giro d’Italia. With his legs failing to respond on today’s thirteenth stage – a tough 158.2km hop across the mountains of Galicia – the 31-year-old Eagle of Filottrano sat up and rolled in with the gruppetto.

"Once again today I didn’t have good feelings,” he explained after the stage. “It was useless to struggle in order to be in the bunch, without any chance of getting a result, so I preferred to slow down the pace.”

Much more used to riding alongside teammates like Przemyslaw Niemiec and Francesco Gavazzi, who finished the stage in the main group, alongside race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Scarponi instead rolled over the line with sprinters Marco Marzano, Aitor Perez and Alessandro Petacchi.

“I'm not pedalling on a good level,” he added, “I hope things will go better in the next days since I'd really like to give some value to my race".

Scarponi started the race strongly, and took second place on the uphill eighth stage to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. He then lost time on the mountaintop finish at La Covatilla though, then even more in the Salamanca time trial the next day, and started the stage thirteen in 22nd place overall, 4’43” behind.

Scarponi lost exactly 21 minutes to stage winner Michale Albasini, which equates to 19’27” to Wiggins. He now trails the British champion by 24’10” but, should his legs recover in the next few days, he will very likely be allowed to escape to try for a stage victory.

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