4/20/2012 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!
Pozzovivo wins 2012 Giro del Trentino
Atapuma wins final stage
Darwin Atapuma raced to victory in the finale of stage four of the 2012 Giro del Trentino at Passo Pordoi, giving Colombia-Coldeportes its first victory on European soil. The Colombian rider overcame heavy snow on the 177km final stage to secure the win, with Colnago-CSF's Domenico Pozzovivo comfortably winning the overall GC after coasting home in third place.
"When I think back to cold we suffered today – I am still shivering,” Pozzovivo said after securing the overall win.
“I found the right rhythm and a rising determination as the Tour progressed. It was important to do well as a team as the Giro d’Italia is coming up very soon and we were immediately comfortable with the team time trial on the opening day.
“My teammates have been busy all day to keep the race closed for me. Lots of riders tried to attack me and it was not always easy to answer. But I never had moments of great crisis and in the end I felt so good that I was also able to attack in the finale."
Pozzovivo led for most of the finale on the mountain finish and for a long time it looked like he would add to yesterday’s stage three victory in Brenzone, which put him into the leader’s jersey after he had under-performed in stage two. But once he realised overall victory was within his grasp he took his foot off the gas and was passed by Atapuma and Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) within sight of the finish line. Betancur couldn’t counter Atapuma's final push and had to settle for the runner-up spot for the second time in three days.
Atapuma’s win was an historic one for his team, who have finally broken through with a well-deserved maiden victory in Europe, and for the rider himself it was the biggest day of his career to date. The 24-year-old won the Colombian national championship in 2008, but recognition in the form of victory here far outweighs anything he has achieved in the past and will have some bigger teams sitting up and taking notice.
It was Pozzovivo’s first overall victory for two years and a welcome boost for him and his team ahead of the Giro d’Italia, which is less than ten days away. Whether that is enough time to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the dire weather conditions in northern Italy remains to be seen. Snow and wind decimated the peloton in the final phase of the race as the riders climbed higher and higher to the Passo Pordoi summit finish.
The early part of the stage was fairly uneventful, with the bulk of the peloton happy to bide its time behind the two-man breakaway of Brian Vandborg (Spidertech) and Reto Hollenstein (Team NetApp). Things heated up as the weather deteriorated on the final climb to the finish, with the two leaders being engulfed by a chasing pack led by Liquigas-Cannondale’s home-based duo Ivan Basso and Eros Capecchi, who were working for their GC-chasing teammate Sylvester Szmyd. Despite a couple of attacks Pozzovivo was biding his time in comfortable fashion, and with 3km to go he swept into the lead, effectively ending the battle for the overall GC.
As he realised overall victory was in the bag, with his main rivals, Damiano Cunego and Sylvester Szmyd, unable to go with him, Pozzovivo rode within himself for the final kilometre and was passed by Atapuma and Betancur. Cunego eventually came home in fifth position, one place behind Szmyd, but the gap between the pair was wide enough to ensure that Cunego consolidated his GC lead over the Polish rider and finished as overall runner-up.
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