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44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 4 & 5 Comnments & Photos
By Staff
Date: 3/15/2009
44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 4 & 5 Comnments & Photos

44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Team Comnments & Photos
Team and Rider comments after stage 4 & 5 - Joaquim Rodriguez,
Lars Michaelsen, Linus Gerdemann, Alessandro Ballan, Andreas Kloden, Jens Zemke, Geraint Thomas Injury update, and more...

Julien El Fares in the race leaders jersey dropped to 16th on G.C. today, the young Frenchman has a 3 point lead in the points classification over Ale Jet Petacchi... with only the final stage on Tuesday favorable to the sprinters. hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4 - "on the Montelupone"

Caisse d'Epargne
Joaquim Rodriguez Repeats

In Tirreno-Adriatico, Joaquím Rodríguez did in the 4th stage of the Italian race exactly the same thing he did last year by winning at the top of Montelupone, and is also the new leader of the race:

Joaquim Rodriguez on the final steeps of the Montelupone. hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

“I am really happy and all the more because I was just told me that this is the victory number 100 of the team Caisse d’Epargne. The race and my victory were very similar to the ones of last year. I attacked a little bit earlier this time to anticipate my adversaries’ intentions and in particular Lövkvist because I noticed he was very well. The gap was immediate and I then just gave it all to resist till the finishing line. Tirreno is a race that I really like and of course this stage above all. Tomorrow after the time trail it would be a miracle if I was still the leader so I want to enjoy this important win today!”

Rodriguez in the mostly blue multicolored race leaders jersey.
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Saxo Bank on the Montelupone
Crash  and Damaged Wheel Set Back Breschel and Andy Schleck

Everything was set for a good day for both Andy Schleck and Matti Breschel in the demanding fourth stage from Foligno to Montelupone, but these two riders had an extremely unfortunate finale.

The main group climbed the extremely steep increase in Montelupone twice and was already neatly reduced in the first ascend. A crash just before the 25 kilometer mark, however forced Matti Breschel to the ground, and the Danish rider saw his chances evaporate on the stage.

Andy Schleck masters the Montelupone on a damaged wheel!
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Andy Schleck was about to suffer the same fate, but stayed on his bike and was in the group of favorites when it hit the foot of Montelupone the first time. Unfortunately, the wheel had been damaged, and the service car was far behind, and on the narrow road it was impossible to come the Team Saxo Banks climber from Luxembourg to the rescue in time, just as the favorites attacked the 1600 meters long climb.

“It was a really unfortunate day for us. On paper, both Matti and had a Andy really good chance to do a good final, but none of them were able to display it. Matti was rather bruised but he fought beautifully to the finish line and it seems like he has only received some superficial scratches. At least he can relax on tomorrow's time trial and then try to recover for the last two stages, if he is not too hurt” sports director Lars Michaelsen said after the stage, which was a great triumph for Caisse d ' Epargne's Joaquim Rodriguez, who took both the stage victory and the leadership.

Team Milram
Gerdemann into the Top Ten

MILRAM captain Linus Gerdemann used a strong time trial to jump into the Top Ten of Tirenno-Adriatico. The 26-year old ended the 30 km time trial between Loreto and Macerata on Sunday as ninth and moved up into the Top Ten of the overall ranking. Gerdemann is now in promising position in seventh place only 1:22 minutes behind Klöden.

"I am satisfied with the time trial,“ said Milram captain Gerdemann. "It was a long and difficult course. It is always the details that make the difference as to how far forward you finish. Tomorrow we will have to wait and see how the stage goes. We must try and make the best out of our current situation.“

Ballan Pulls out of Tirreno Due to Virus.

Alessandro Ballan won't take part in the 5th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, Loreto-Macerata time trial. After a light training in the morning, World Champion will go home. The abandon decision was taken by Ballan with the support of the Lampre-NGC's staff because the's still suffering for the symptom of the virus attack that struck him last weekend.

A tough week for the blu & Fucsia team with illness plaguing the team. Marzio Bruseghin seemed to stay well as he continues for his preparations for the Giro d'Italia. hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

"During race I'm tired and I could not rest in a proper way." Ballan explained. "So I prefer to train in a quite way and to have the necessary rest time. It would have been great to realize good performances in Tirreno-Adriatico and I'm sorry to quit the race, but I think it's the best solution in view of Milano-Sanremo and the Northern Classics". Dalto and  Mori  also pulled out today, both are suffering from an influenza.

No blue-fucsia highlights in the 4th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico: on the wall of Montelupone, Rodriguez repeated last year victory. For Lampre-NGC, after the attack by Sapa that pedaled in a breakaway with other 4 riders until 20 km to go, only Gasparotto and Righi could compete with the best athletes on the two rounds of Montelupone climb. Da Dalto and Mori had to quit the race because of the flu.

Tirreno-Adriatico Round-up Stage 5 ITT
Andreas Klöden Wins Time Trial And The Lead In Tirreno-Adriatico

Team Astana’s Andreas Klöden took over the lead in the Italian stage race Tirreno-Adriatrico (March 11th-17th) after winning the 5th stage, an individual time trial from Loreto to Macerata. Klöden finished the 30 kilometer course in 41:32 and was more than 20 seconds faster than Stijn Devolder. Swedish rider Thomas Lökvist finished third at 21 seconds behind. Michele Scarponi and Mikhail Ignatiev finished fourth and fifth, 21 and 32 seconds respectively. In the General Classification Klöden leads now by six seconds to Thomas Lökvist.

Andreas Kloden was on his game today taking the win and the leaders jersey.
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Klöden was exhausted but happy after his strong performance. “I liked the course,” said the overall winner of the 2007 Tirreno-Adriatico. “On purpose I started very fast. I had the best time at the first time split which was good for my confidence. At the second time split I was second, but had a better time than my competitors for the general classification. It gave me a boost and extra forces to tackle the difficult climb at 4 kilometers from the finish. I am very happy. I was a bit uncertain because of three crashes in the last two days, but my condition is so good that it didn’t prevent me from performing very well. I really worked hard to be good in this race. I succeeded.”

Tirreno-Adriatico finishes on Tuesday. Tomorrow is a tough and long stage, 235 kilometer between Civitanove Marche and Camerino. “A few days ago we lost Jani Brajkovic after a crash, but I have big confidence in my other teammates. It will be hard but we will defend this leader’s jersey”, concluded Andreas Klöden.

Columbia/Highroad's Thomas Lovkvist put in a great performance today to move closer to the race lead, now  in second place. hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Cervélo TestTeam
Jens Zemke, Cervélo TestTeam Sports Director, commented after the race, "Today's time trial was a really tough one. Our GC rider Dan Lloyd did his best, but he was a bit handicapped with a cold. Simon Gerrans, who is coming into a great shape took it easy and is focused on next Saturday."

"After loosing our top sprinter Thor in this stage race, we tried to make a good overall result, but Simon crashed in the key section of the whole race. But we aren`t looking to the ground! We want to have a good stage result on the last day, Tuesday, where we could place our second sprinter in a good position. We've had a good preparation for the highlight of Milan-San Remo. The riders are in perfect form for that race!"

Saxo Bank
Fabian Cancellara & Team Save Strength for Queen Stage

Again the overall standings shifted in Tirreno-Adriatico, and with an excellent time trial Astana's Andreas Klöden went to the top of it. The German rider won the 30 kilometer long TT from Macerata to Loreto and took the lead of the Italian stage race from yesterday's winner, Joaquim Rodríguez (Caisse d'Epargne).

Swiss time trial champion Fabian Cancellara on the return after a shoulder injury at the tour of California is stretching his legs and riding in support of the team this week. Hard to think of a time trial he has been in that he didn't win or wasn't at the top of the podium in the past 4 years, isn't it. hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

"With Fabian a bit from excellent condition it wasn't realistic to expect a top result today, so he just made it through like the other riders. Tomorrow we have a long and very demanding stage, so today was all about saving strength for the whole team and get through as easy as possible. It all remains very close at the top of the overall position, so tomorrow's outcome will be decisive and the stage certainly will for that reason be tough, "said sports director Lars Michaelsen with regard to tomorrow's 235 kilometer long stage.

Team Barloworld
Geraint Thomas Injury - 20 Days Off

Team Barloworld's British Olympic Champion Geraint Thomas had a really bad day today at Tirreno-Adriatico, while he was performing well in the 5th stage of the Italian race, a 30 km individual time trial from Loreto to Macerata.

"He clocked the second best time in Recanati, after 8 km, he was giving it all as he knew the Team counted a lot on him today. - told DS Valerio Tebaldi - Suddenly, at km 10 he misjudged the trajectory of a right turn on downhill, hit the guard rail and dropped for several meters. It appeared really bad at that time."

Barloworlds Steven Cummings on a flat section of today's time trial.
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Despite this really impressive fall, Geraint Thomas suffered less serious injuries than expected: in fact, apart from some bruises, only a nose fracture, and a broken pelvis ischium were found after some X- rays at the hospital in Macerata. "After all, it could have been a much worse diagnosis. - said Team Doctor Massimiliano Mantovani - He will need 20 days of complete rest, but tonight will spend the night at the hotel with the Team".

George Hincapie near the top of the climb of the Montelupone.
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

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