2/19/2013 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!
TROFEO LAIGUEGLIA 2013
Pozzato prevails at Trofeo Laigueglia
Reda, Santambrogio round out podium
Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) won from a four-man break in the Trofeo Laigueglia, the first race in Italy for the 2013 season. Francesco Reda (Androni Giocattoli) finished second, followed by Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) in third. Pozzato's teammate Diego Ulissi finished fourth while Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) took the bunch sprint for fifth at seven seconds.
For Pozzato, this was the third Trofeo Laigueglia of his career, following back-to-back victories in 2003-2004.
"The team knows that this is a race I care about because it was also the first race that I won when I was 20," said Pozzato. "It happened 10 years ago and I'm happy, I will enjoy this day."
Pozzato's explained his team's tactics, as they worked to avoid a full-on field sprint finale. "If you get a large group it's dangerous," said Pozzato. "I wanted to attack with two kilometres to go, but Santambrogio went and that was fine. I think the team handled everything well."
Reda was happy with his second place result. "I was hoping to move ahead in the last few metres but Pozzato started really strong and there was nothing more to be done. I missed the victory but I'm sure if I continue on this path it will come soon."
A five rider escape formed in the opening kilometres of the 196.5km parcours, comprised of Florent Barle (Cofidis), Leonardo Duque (Colombia), Thomas Raeymaekers (Team Novo Nordisk) plus Antonio Barbio and Nicola Dal Santo (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest). The lead quintet pushed their advantage out to nine minutes, but once the peloton's chase began in earnest their escape was neutralised with 60 kilometres remaining.
Duque secured the KOM classification as he was the first rider over both classified ascents of the Testico, at 70.4km and 124km.
Following the first passage of the finish line in Laigueglia, a four rider escape formed including Diego Rosa (Androni Giocattoli), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Kristijan Durasek (Lampre-Merida) and Bjorn Thurau (Team Europcar). Rosa pushed the pace on the day's third ascent of the Testico, dropping Durasek and Thurau, while Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) bridged to the two leaders to form a three-man lead group.
Lampre-Merida set the pace at the head of the peloton and with 20 kilometres to the finish this break, too, was brought back into the fray.
Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Venezuela) launched a solo attack on the Pinamare climb with 10 kilometres remaining but the ever vigilant Lampre-Merida squad shut down Pellizotti's bid for victory. The Italian ProTeam's pace-making efforts thinned the front group to just 20 riders on the Pinamare, but the favourites were still at the fore leading into the Trofeo Laigueglia's finale.
The Capo Mele climb provided the final launch pad for attacks with Santambrogio going clear. The Vini Fantini Italian was closely marked by the Lampre-Merida duo of Ulissi and Pozzato with Reda also making contact to form the decisive move. Ulissi powered the break under the flamme rouge with Pozzato tucked in on his teammate's wheel.
Pozzato would take the victory in Laigueglia, becoming the first three-time winner in the Italian race's 50-year history.
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Photo: © Bettini