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GP Industria & Artigianato Larciano - Updated
By Fabio
Date: 5/5/2007
GP Industria & Artigianato Larciano - Updated
The young Vincenzo "Shark of the Strait" Nibali of Liquigas showed off his talent one more time by winning Saturday's Gran Premio Industria & Artigianato di Larciano in Tuscany. The Sicilian (but based in the same Tuscan area hosting today's contest) rider, who is going to make his Giro d'Italia debut one week from today, finished clear of teammate Franco "Dolphin of Bibione" Pellizzotti in a display of superiority by the "lime green" team. The Ukrainian Mikahylo Khalilov (Ceramica Flaminia) was "best of the rest" at 32 seconds and Luca Solari (Team L.P.R) fell short of the podium by a whisker.

Nibali opened his 2007 account and at the same time recorded his fourth career win since he turned a pro, also taking his team's season tally up to thirteen. The two guys finished off a perfect teamwork: their royal lieutenants Andrea Noè, Alessandro Vanotti and Francesco Failli set things up for Pellizotti's move as they picked up the pace on the last passage over the San Baronto ascent. And when the "Dolphin of Bibione" came into action, only the "Shark of the Strait" (as in the "Strait of Messina", the narrow section of water between his hometown Messina on the eastern tip of Sicily and continental Italy) and Fortunato Baliani tried and followed. But whereas the Panaria rider had to give up the chase quite soon, Nibali succeeded in making contact with Pelizzotti, and the Dolphin and the Shark continued their winning swim to the finish.

"It's a victory that I have to share with Pelizzotti and the whole team" Nibali commented after the race "The altitude training I did in the Canary Islands over the past few months is paying off. Now we can be confident about the upcoming Giro, where I'll be helping Danilo Di Luca and Pellizotti". "And Goldilocks" Pelizzotti added that "to make Nibali win on his "home roads" was the right thing to do. And thanks to his victory the amount of Liquigas riders able to be clinch at least one race this season went up to nine".

GP Larciano - Top 10 Places:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita - Liquigas) - s.t.
2. Franco Pellizotti (Ita - Liquigas) - s.t.
3. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr - Ceramica Flaminia) - at 32”
4. Luca Solari (Ita - Team LPR) - s.t.
5. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - s.t.
6. Daniele Pietropolli (Ita - Tenax-Menikini) - s.t.
7. Fortunato Baliani (Ita - Panaria-Navigare) - s.t.
8. Antonio Quadranti (Ita - Aurum Hotels) - s.t.
9. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita - Barloworld) - s.t.
10. Manuele Spadi (Ita - Ceramica Flaminia) - s.t.


The "Shark of the Strait" leads Pellizotti and Baliani  
photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Fortunato Baliani dropped by Nibali.   photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Vittoria - Liquigas' Nibali e Pellizotti!
photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Podium (L to R): Mikahylo Khalilov, Vincenzo Nibali and Franco Pellizzotti
photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti



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