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61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Comments & Photos
By Staff
Date: 5/5/2007
61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Comments & Photos

61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Comments & Photos
Stage report, Team and Riders comments, photos.

61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3

Matteo Bono Wins!
In Tour de Romandia Matteo Bono showed that the victory in Tirreno-Adriatico main stage hadn’t been a lonely event. In fact, the young Lampre-Fondital’s cyclist obtained a marvelous victory in the third stage (Moudon-Charmey of 162,6 kms) of the Suisse race, closing in glory a very long breakaway: Bono preceded in the final sprint the action mates Beppu and Pinotti.

Matteo Bono leads his break companions to the finish. Photo c. Lampre/Fondital

Bono explained how he won, “We had trust since the beginning that the action was good but, when Pinotti attacked at 20 kms to the finish, I didn’t believe I would be able again to compete for the victory, because my legs weren’t so good and because Beppu was pedaling very well. But then Pinotti suffered from the effort and I saw that I was the strongest on the last climb, so my morale increased and I looked for the victory; I got it. I’m very happy for myself, for the team and for our sponsors that follow us with passion”.
In the overall standing, Savoldelli is still the leader; Szmyd is 21st at 16”.

Tour de Romandie:
Win for Matteo Bono – Salvodelli keeps lead in CG.

CHARMEY, Switzerland , May 4th – Italy’s Matteo Bono surged in the last stretch to win the 162.6-kms third stage of the Tour de Romandie on Friday at the end of the first successful breakaway in the race this year.

The 23-year-old Italian, winner of a Tirreno-Adriatico stage in March, frustrated his two breakaway companions, Japanese Fumiyuki Beppu and fellow-Italian Marco Pinotti, who all fell short of a formidable feat. Beppu, who finished second in Bono’s wheel, would have become the first Japanese to win a professional cycling race at such a level.

Pinotti, who wasted energy in an unsuccessful attack 20 kilometres from the finish, missed the race leader’s yellow jersey by only four seconds. His compatriot Paolo Savoldelli, safely brought home by his Astana team-mates in the final kilometres, narrowly retained top spot in the overall standings.

“It was hard all day and I didn’t think at the beginning that the bunch would let us go,” said Bono, who rides for Italian team Lampre. “In the final sprint, I was confident because Pinotti was tired after his move and I knew the Japanese from the amateur ranks. I knew I was faster than him,” he added.

The three had parted company with the main pack after four kilometres and steadily widened the gap, which climaxed at 19 minutes and 21 seconds after 60 kilometres.

With 30 kilometres left and the lead still at over ten minutes, it was obvious that the three would not be caught before the finish line and Pinotti, who was only 4:01 behind Savoldelli at the start, could have been content with just going for the overall lead. But he was too greedy and tried his luck on his own with 20 kilometres to go, only to be reined in by Beppu and Bono 16 kilometres further.

As a result, the break lost momentum, allowing Savoldelli to limit the damage. “It was our plan to let a break go and to control the finale to retain the yellow jersey. Everything worked as planned,” the race leader since the prologue said.

The final outcome of the Tour de Romandie is expected to be decided in Saturday’s demanding 155 km-long fourth stage to Morgins, which includes four first category climbs.

“It is still a little difficult to know precisely what sort of a form I’m in. We’ll see tomorrow,” said Savoldelli.

The double former Giro champion, who came to the Tour de Romandie to prepare for the big Italian Tour later this month, said his Astana team could also count on Kazkah Andrey Kacheshkin to assume the leading role should he falter.
François Thomazeau

Saunier Duval/Prodir
Vuelta a Asturias
Once again today, Fran Ventoso Saunier Duval/Prodir has come close to grabbing victory in stage 2 of the 51st Vuelta a Asturias (from Llanes to Avilés, 168 kilometres). Italian Alberto Loddo (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia) made the news as sprint winner, but Ventoso jumped atop the GC thanks to the bonus points at the finish line, taking the leader´s jersey off Ángel Vicioso (Relax-GAM).

A near miss for Loddo. Photo c. Saunier Duval

About 30 kilometres into the stage, Oscar Pujol, of the Spanish National Team, and Jesús Ramírez Torres (Extremadura-Spiuk) initiated attacks; Saunier Duval/Prodir got one man in the breakaway: Rubén Lobato. They stayed clear for some 30 kilometres, but weren´t working well together and were thus chased down by the peloton, led by Saunier Duval/Prodir and Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Selle Italia.

Loddo and Ventoso benefitted from these team efforts: Ventoso started his sprint first, and it looked like he was going to take revenge after losing to Vicioso yesterday, but the man from Sardinia had better legs in the last hundred metres and came around "Fast Fran" to clinch the stage. Tomorrow´s leg will unfold from Cafés Toscaf to special-category Alto del Acebo (180.2 kilometres). Before reaching the final climb, riders´ll have to face two other climbing challenges: Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas (cat. 1, at Km. 97.9) and El Connio (special category, at Km. 139.7).

Red Birds in Romandie
Waiting for queen stage

As for the 61st edition of the Tour de Romandie, tomorrow it will have its toughest mountainous stage (4), from Charmey en Gruyère to Morgins (156 kilometres). Four cat-1 climbing challenges will be waiting for the peloton: Jaun (Km. 17), Pillon (Km. 66), Villars (Km. 114), and Morgins (Km. 154 - finish line).

Today, in stage 3 (Moudon - Charmey en Gruyère, 162 kilometres), Lampre-Fondital´s Matteo Bono took the win, outsprinting Fumiyuki Beppu (Discovery Channel) and Marco Pinotti (T-Mobile). The three men made a long-lasting break, while Saunier Duval/Prodir focused on dragging the peloton to narrow the gap to the three leaders, which rose to 18 minutes. Team efforts didn´t bear fruit, and the podium men reached the finish line four minutes before the first chasing bunch, featuring four "red birds": David Cañada, Rubens Bertogliati, José Ángel Gómez Marchante, and Leonardo Piepoli. They´ll now have to ride their legs off in the remaining two stages: the queen stage, on Saturday, and the 20-kilometre ITT in Lausanne on Sunday. Their chances for a big achievement are still intact.

Team Caisse d'Epargne
Eusebio Unzue on the Decisive Queen Stage of the Tour of Romandie
After the third stage of the Tour of Romandy, won by Italian rider Matteo Bono (Lampre) and where another Italian, Paolo Savoldelli (Astaná) is still the leader of the general classifications by four seconds only, Eusebio Unzúe analyzes the possibilities of the Team Caisse d'Epargne on the eve of the difficult mountain stage that will be disputed tomorrow between Charmey and Morgins, on a route of 156 kilometres.

"The stage that will take place tomorrow is going to be the queen stage of this Tour of Romandy", explained the sport director of Caisse d'Epargne, "With four first category passes and the finish located at the top of the last difficulty, the stage will obviously be decisive for the final general classification, also if we also will have to reckon with the final time trial which will be raced on Sunday. Our team, with Joaquím Rodríguez, Fran Pérez and David López, can rely on three riders in good condition and able to fight for the stage win as well as for the overall ranking, also if the task will not be easy because there are many candidates."

For his part, Joaquím Rodríguez also trusts the possibilities of the team in the tomorrow: "Personally I feel well, but it is clear that there I will have to wait till tomorrow to really know how my current condition is. The stage will be a very hard one because it is probably going to rain and that could influence very much the development of the race. Until now we have disputed short stages and it is very probable that, tomorrow, the general classification will be completely modified. It will be important to resist during all the day and then to be there in the first positions in the last climb to try to go for the stage win. If we are well and in degree to fight for the general, it will also be necessary to try to drop the time trial specialists. The race should be very open and I believe that we have good possibilities, if not to win the final general classification, at least to win in Morgins."

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61st Tour de Romandie - Stage 3 Live
61st Tour de Romandie- Stage 3 Results and G.C.

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