Ivan "Il Ghepardo" (The Cheetah) Quaranta has won on Sunday the third and penultimate stage of the 34th "Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda", from Seriate to Stezzano over 185 km.
The Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé fastman sprinted to his second victory of the season, after he broke the ice at Stage 6 of Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, as he edged out Argentina's Ruben Bongiorno (Ceramiche Panaria-Margres) and Italy's Ivan Ravaioli (Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli). Very young gun Mauro Santambrogio, a junior until the end of 2002 and now a professional rider with Team LPR, managed an excellent fourth place finish.
Fellow Italian Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze), winner of both previous legs of the Lombard event, remains at the top of the GC, leading Zimbabwean Tim Jones -who finished second overall also one year ago- by a little less than two minuites, with Radoslaw Romanik of Poland sitting in the other podium spot.
By this victory, coming with less than a month to the Giro d'Italia (the race that made his name known to many fans as he won the Tour of Italy opener in Sicily five years ago) start, Ivan Quaranta meant to send a clear message to both Alessandro Petacchi and Mario Cipollini: "I managed to beat them in the past, and I've finally found back the right motivation to be a protagonist", the sprinter from Crema said in post-race interviews.
This year might be the good one for him to get back to any Giro stage podium, with his new Formaggi Pinzolo outfit. And the man had kind words for his new team, where he could find back his previous Directeur Sportif: "To be back under the direction of Stefano Giuliani was the best thing I could do. I won a Tour of Malaysia stage in February, and thanks to a perfect teamwork I didn't have any problems in winning today".
Quaranta's next big objective is storming back into spotlight at Italy's #1 cycling event "I wore the maglia rosa for one day at the 1999 Giro, and also won six (Tour of Italy) stages: I'm not going to forget it, as I want that there may be room enough for me (in that race) again".
Stage 3 (Seriate to Stezzano, 185 km.) - Top 20 Places
1. Ivan Quaranta (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - 04h11'45"
2. Ruben Bongiorno (Arg - Ceramiche Panaria-Margres) - s.t.
3. Ivan Ravaioli (Ita - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - s.t.
4. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita - Team LPR-Piacenza) - s.t.
5. Ivan Fanelli (Ita - Amore & Vita-Beretta) - s.t.
6. Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr - Team ICET) - s.t.
7. Fabio Borghesi (Ita - Miche) - s.t.
8. Plamen Stojanov (Bul - Hoop CCC-Polsat) - s.t.
9. Matej Stare (Slo - Perutnina Ptuj) - s.t.
10. Gianluca Sironi (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - s.t.
11. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita - Acqua e Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - s.t.
12. Mariusz Wiesiak (Pol - Team Nippo) - s.t.
13. Paolo Longo (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - s.t.
14. Antonio Salomone (Ita - Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - s.t.
15. Krzyszof Szczawinski (Pol - Team ICET) - s.t.
16. Stefano Boggia (Ita - Team ICET) - s.t.
17. Matej Marin (Slo - Perutnina Ptuj) - s.t.
18. Giuseppe di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - s.t.
19. Mitja Mahoric (Slo - Perutnina Ptuj) - s.t.
20. Gabriele Bosisio (Ita - Tenax) - s.t.
Gc after Stage 3 - Top 20 Places
1. Michele Scarponi (Ita - Domina Vacanze) - 08h34'17”
2. Timothy Jones (Zim - Domina Vacanze) - at 01'52”
3. Radoslaw Romanik (Pol - Hoop CCC-Polsat) - at 01'53”
4. Stefano Boggia (Ita - Team ICET) - at 02'01”
5. Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 02'04”
6. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo) - at 02'28”
7. Giuseppe Muraglia (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 02'36"
8. Filippo Simeoni (Ita - Domina Vacanze) - at 02'38”
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol - Miche) - at 02'43”
10. Jamie Burrow (GBR - Amore & Vita-Beretta) - at 02'50”
11. Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA - Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) - at 03'01”
12. Slawomir Kohut (Pol - Hoop CCC - Polsat) - at 03'10”
13. Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr - Team ICET) - at 03'12”
14. Gianluca Sironi (Ita - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - at 03'48”
15. Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita - Tenax) - at 03'59”
16. Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr - Amore & Vita-Beretta) - at 04'01”
17. Mitja Mahoric (Slo - Perutnina Ptuj) - at 04'08”
18. Alexandr Arekeev (Rus - Acqua & Sapone-C.Mokambo) - at 04'14”
19. Gianluca Tonetti (Ita - Tenax) - at 04'16”
20. Emanuele Sella (Ita - Ceramiche Panaria-Margres) - at 04'17”
Complete Stage 3 results available Here (PDF File Format).
Full GC after Stage 3 available Here (PDF File Format).