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44th Tirreno - Adriatico - Stage 6 & 7 Comments & Photos
By Staff
Date: 3/17/2009
44th Tirreno - Adriatico - Stage 6 & 7 Comments & Photos

44th Tirreno - Adriatico - Team Comments & Photos
The teams weigh in on Stage six finish on the Montelupone and results of their participation in the week of racing in Italy.

Danilo Di Luca attacks the Montelupone            Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Barloworld Stage 6
Paolo Longo Borghini in the Escape

Today's stage six of the Tirreno-Adriatico was the toughest day of the Italian one-week race. Throughout the 235 km up to Camerino, the riders had to face many ascents in a row, with two categorised mountains: Cingoli at km 74 and Sasso Tetto at km 192.

Barloworld's Gianpaolo Cheula         Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Paolo Longo Borghini tried his luck with an attack early in the stage together with Martinez (Euskaltel), Carrara (Vacansoleil) and Maaskant (Garmin). Their attack occurred after 20km and they gained a maximum of 12 minutes over the peloton. "Today we wanted to be protagonist in spite of a very tough stage. Longo Borghini is everything but a climber, but he's a brave rider and thanks to a good shape he shines during the stage", sports direcor Alberto Volpi said after the finish.

Unfortunately Longo Borghini was reeled in by the overall competitors along the Sasso Tetto climb, but Team Barloworld showed once more to be ever-present into the race.

Team Milram
Linus Gerdemann defends top ten position

Linus Gerdemann defended his strong top ten position overall in the sixth stage of the long-distance Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17 / UCI category HIS). The MILRAM captain finished 15th on the stage. The stage win after 235 km went to Italian Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC). He beat out his landsmen Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

“Today was not my best day but my teammates Peter Velits and Johannes Fröhlinger were right beside me and brought me back to the front”, said Milram captain Linus Gerdemann. “Today I saw where I’m good at and where I have to improve things. But for this time at the year I’m doing pretty good so far.”

Milram's Linus Gerdemann.         Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Team Saxo Bank
Through with Five Riders on Tough Mountain Stage.

Team Saxo Bank started the stage with two riders fewer than yesterday and another gave up on the 235-kilometer-long mountain stage in the year's Tirreno-Adriatico.

Andy Schleck asked not to start because of pain in his left knee and Markus Ljungquist had to surrender due to a stomach pain that had made the Swedish rider suffer the previous two stages.

“It was not the best beginning, but the profile of the stage showed that it would be pointless to make the two riders do the race. Markus was decidedly ruled out because of the stomach ache, and Andy had already incipient pain during the stage of Montelupone. Fabian did nearly 170 kilometres, which certainly was acceptable in relation to the condition he is in right now”, sports director Torsten Schmidt said after the stage from Civitanova Marche to Camerino

“The other riders did some useful, yet ruthless race kilometres, and with nearly seven hours in the saddle through constantly undulating terrain, we must say that such a day serves as an excellent preparation for the classics. Today's stage matched the level meters and distance of the toughest stages in the big stage races, so it's no wonder that many rider didn't make it through”, Schmidt added.

Cervélo TestTeam
Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) won stage six to capture the overall lead of Tirreno-Adriatico beating Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas). Top finisher for Cervélo TestTeam was Gabriel Rasch in 41st place over 14 minutes behind the winner.

Jens Zemke, team Sports Director, commented at the stage completion, "Our riders had an enormously long day to absorb. It was a steady up and down through a beautiful landscape with snow on top of the Sasso Tetto which is 1 455 m high. Our tactic for the day was to protect our sprinter for tomorrows chance and to try escape in an early breakaway if we could.

"Five riders started the break and had a maximum lead of 12 minutes, but to no avail. It was a day of the big GC riders. They attacked Andreas Klöden at the climb and it was a tremendous stage showing how fascinating this sport can be. Scarponi took the leaders jersey from Klöden.  "Our best rider was Gabriel Rasch, who finished around 41st place, riding the last 45 km alone. Our guys look good and they have a big goal to reach next Saturday."
Cervélo TestTeam

 In the tough stage Civitanova Marche-Camerino, Lampre-NGC's cyclists tried to save energies in view of the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. Blue-fucsia idea is to try to obtain tomorrow a good result thanks to Angelo Furlan in the sprint of the last stage. Today, Righi was the best for Lampre-NGC: he crossed the finish line in 56th position at 18'33" to the winner Scarponi (new leader of the overall standing).

Enrico Gasparotto - 30 km time trial        Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

"In such tough stage, our riders soon lost contact from the head of the race. So our riders preferred to save energies in view of tomorrow appointment", Fabrizio Bontempi, Lampre-NGC's sport director said.

Stage 7 Team Comments Wrap-up 

Team Columbia-Highroad
Cavendish Wins Final Stage of Tirreno - Adriatico
Team Columbia-Highroad sprinter Mark Cavendish struck again on the final day of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy, winning the sprint with an impressive burst of speed. It was Cavendish’s fifth win of the season and the 11th win for Team Columbia-High Road’s men.

Cavendish got a perfect lead out from his team mates in the final kilometre of the high-speed finish. George Hincapie pulled Cavendish clear of the other sprinters, then when Daniele Bennati started his sprint early, Cavendish got on his wheel before accelerated past him. Stage three winner Tyler Farrar was on Cavendish’s wheel but did not have the speed to threaten him.

“The other day I was beaten on the line, so I had a point to prove today,” Cavendish said. “I wasn’t out for revenge because I like to win every race I ride, but I wanted to prove I’m the fastest. The team rode perfectly yet again. They kept the break under control and then I had the perfect lead out. Bennati went but I was able to get past him quite easily.”

Team Columbia-High Road also placed two riders in the top ten of the overall standings. Thomas Lovkvist of Sweden was fourth, 1:10 behind Scarponi, and Kanstantsin Siutsou was ninth at 2:41.

Columbia's Thomas Lovkvist grits it out on the final kilometef of the Montelupone.
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Lovkvist also won the best young rider’s competition after strong performances in Sunday’s 30km time trial and Monday’s decisive mountain stage. Lovkvist beat Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali and Robert Gesink of the Netherlands.
Team Columbia-high now heads to Milan for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race.

Stage 6: George Hincapie with Mark Cavendish with Ivan Basso near the finish.
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Race summary from director Matt White

Whitey satisfied with Tirreno-Adriatico performance - Well Tirreno has come to a conclusion and I am very happy on a few fronts. The team showed great focus from day one — working and succeeding on every task given to them.Ryder rode a very solid race and achieved what we wanted from him, adding another very solid 8th place to the resume . Making his results identical to 2008. A 10th place in Eroica and 8th on GC here.

Farrar close to another win
Team Garmin-Slipstream’s sprinting sensation Tyler Farrar nearly doubled his stage wins in Italy, posting a close second in San Benedetto del Tronto. Ryder Hesjedal finished safely in the field to claim eighth place overall!

Ryder Hesjedal on the Montelupone. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

“The guys were super again today!” Tyler said. “The final circuit was crazy so positioning was crucial. The boys put me right where I needed to be for the closing kilometers, unfortunately I couldn’t quite get around Cavendish today. But I think we are proving that we’re a team to be reckoned with in the sprints. All in all we are satisfied with our week here in Italy. With Ryder’s top 10 on GC and my stage win we met all our goals for the race. Now we’ll take a few days to chill out and recover before the big boy on Saturday!”

Team Saxo Bank
Race Served as Solid Preparation for the Classics
The last stage on the traditional circular route through San Benedetto del Tronto was, as usual, decided in a sprint showdown where Mark Cavendish (Columbia-High Road) won ahead of Tyler Farrar (Slip Stream, Chipotle) after the last 169 kilometers of the race.

"We can not exactly say that we have been lucky here with Matti's crash, Andy's knee problems and Markus' stomach ache. With Fabian behind in his preparations, it was not realistic to expect any top results, but we should look on the bright side of things and turn our focus towards the classics, where we can afford to be confident. Seen in that perspective, Tirreno-Adriatico has served as a solid preparation - especially the demanding stage yesterday", said sports director Lars Michaelsen.

Follow Cervélo TestTeam
Jens Zemke commented after the final stage, "The team made a good lead out for Dominque Rollin but he did not have the good legs he had from the 2nd stage where he ended up in fourth place.

"There was at the beginning of the stage a break away of 3 riders with a maximum gap of 6'15". We started Tirreno as an good preparation for Milan San Remo and to try for some good results. But we had some bad luck last week with the crashes."

Team Milram
Bad luck for Gerald Ciolek

Gerald Ciolek had bad luck. The Milram sprinter was in a good position with 500 meters to go, when he lightly touched MarkCavendish's rear wheel and lost his momentum. His teammate Linus Gerdemann finished the race in seventh place.

„We were in good position in the finale, but Gerald Ciolek was missing some of his power today,“ said Christian Henn, MILRAM's Directeur Sportif. „The problem is that when you go into a stage race under the weather, as Gerald did, then you don't really have a chance to recover during the stages and get back to full strength. With a healthy Ciolek we would surely have brought in a stage win, especially in the first days. Looking at it that way, we can be satisfied with the results. Yesterday we saw that our team can do things. This fact makes me optimistic for the coming races.“
Team Milram

Angelo Furlan Sixth

Blue-fucsia reaction in the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico -  thanks to Angelo Furlan, who obtained the 6th place in the final sprint won by Cavendish.

"Angelo battled against the best sprinter and could reach a good result - Fabrizio Bontempi, Lampre-NGC's sport director, commented, "Important performance by Righi, who supported Furlan before the sprint. Talking about our performance in Tirreno-Adriatico, the balance is not positive, even if it's important to underline that the illness of Ballan, Gasparotto, Da Dalto and Mori influenced us".

And last but not least... the fans in Italy

The Tifosi celebrate the arrival of the rider on the San Benedetto circuit.
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

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Related Articles
44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage One Photo Gallery
44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage Six Report & Photos
44th Tirreno-Adriatico - Stage 7 Results & Photos

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