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28th Giro del Trentino - Stage 1 Updated
 
By Fabio
Date: 4/20/2004
28th Giro del Trentino - Stage 1 Updated
 

One of Saeco's best prospects 22-year-old Damiano Cunego of Verona, Italy, won on Tuesday the opening stage of the 28th Tour of Trentino, from Arco to Marcena di Rumo over 168 Kilometres. Cunego outsprinted Slovenia's Jure Golcer (Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè) to clinch the stage and become first overall leader of the event, while the next bunch came in at 15". Cunego's teammate, and reigning champion of his "home race", Gilberto Simoni finished in the top places. Two English-speaking riders, that already showed a good condition and got good results in recent Italian stage races (like Settimana Lombarda, Giro d'Abruzzo), e.g. South African Tiaan Kannemeyer and Britain's very own Jamie Burrow, managed another Top 10 finish.

With Squadra Azzurra Team Coach Franco Ballerini as official race starter, the 2004 edition of one of Italy's top contests kicked off at 10:19 AM local (CEST) time, as a peloton of 127 riders rolled out of the town of Arco, heading for the hamlet of Marcena di Rumo. Nothing worthy of particular mention occurred in the first hour of racing, when the peloton regrouped, heading fot he first KOM prime of the event - Andalo (km. 50; 1100m asl)- averaged the "sensational" speed of 26.5 kph. Then combative Elio Aggiano (Team LPR Management-Piacenza) was first over the top of the ascent, in front of Swiss Patrik Calcagni (Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) and Sicilian Giuseppe Palumbo (Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo).

The bunch slightly fastened the pace in the second hour, when the average speed rose to 30.7 km/h, mainly courtesy of the Tenax team, particularly active in this early part of the stage. Their combative attitude bore fruit as (after a previous attempt by LPR's Dimitri Koyshev, that gained a few metres on the Andalo descent, but was immediately brought back) Renzo Mazzoleni, younger brother of Saeco's Eddy, took off on a solo break and quickly built up a two-minute lead over the Saeco-led field, where there were some skirmishes too: Spain's Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Team LPR) and Italy's Matteo Cappè (Formaggi Pinzolo fiavé) rode away from the bunch and tried to close in on the front-runner. But they were joined by a few more riders, and after two and a half hours of pedalling Mazzoleni was leading a dozen chasers by 01'45", with the rest of the pack following a further fifteeen seconds behind.

The twelve fugitives were Italy's Leonardo Bertagnolli, Andrea Tonti, Leonardo Giordani and Matteo Cappè, as well as Spain's Patxi Vila Errandonea and Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez, plus Slovenia's Jure Golcer, Czech Andrej Sosenka, Russian Dimitri Gaynitdinov and two aforementioned English-speakers Tiaan Kannemeyer (Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli) and Britain's very own Jamie Burrow (Amore & Vita-Beretta); but they didn't succeed in their attempt to bridge the gap to Mazzoleni and were soon reeled in by the peloton, such that the Italian could continue pedalling on his own.

Well, a little longer at least, as brave Hernández Gutiérrez didn't give up, and at his second attempt the man hit the target: the 22-year-old from Ermua, in the Bizkaia province of the Basque Country, finally bridged the gap to Mazzoleni, and also Italian Graziano Gasparre, a former Mapei now riding with the De Nardi outift, did, such that by the km. 96 mark, more than three hours into the race, there was a trio at the front.

Gasparre won the Hot Spot Sprint at Romeno (km. 106.4) from Mazzoleni and the Spaniard, while solo chaser Valery Kobazernko (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) of Ukraine came in 01'10" behind, and the bunch, with Mexican Julio Alberto Pérez Cuapio setting the pace up front, was trailing by 01'50". The traguardo volante at Romeno was located in the final part of the second ascent and last of the day, that saw Hernández take revenge on Gasparre, while Mazzoleni was third over the top of the climb at Malosco. In the meantime Kobzarenko and the peloton had cut the gap down to 50" and 01'40" respectively. The leading trio became a quartet in the following descent, as the Ukrainian caught the two Italians and the Basque, while the chasing peloton was now less than a minute back. The break looked doomed anyway, and it was actually neutralized by km. 135, with a little more than 30 kilometres to the line.

The peloton didn't stay together for long anyway; more attacks and some crashes split the field, and at the km. 148 mark it was the turn of Leonardo Giordani (the 1999 World U23 Champion is now racing for De Nardi), Argentinian Alejandro Borrato and Spain's Pedro Horrillo to break away, or just try to, as the advantage of this multi-ethnic trio was never up to more than 10”, and they were chased down soon. But with just 10 km. remaining, Mr. Cunego came out and started giving a further display of the excellent condition he showed off also in other recent races, like Tour of the Basque Country or Klasika Primavera. His first attack was neutralized, but when Golcer made his move with 9k to go, it was the Saecoman that countered it, and the two made the gap and made it to the line, where young Damiano pipped the former Volskbank Ideal, former former Perutnina Ptuj rider, and scored his first win of the season.

Great for him, and for his "red army" too: and the Saecos have more than one reason to be happy today as -besides Cunego's triumph- also "Gibo" Simoni found a spot in the stage Top 10, after his seventh place finish at Klasika Primavera, and got his best result so far this year, just a few days after his alarming no-show at Vuelta a Aragón.

And what the "red" team had to say after such a performance is definitely worthy of a glance ...

From Saeco's Press Release:

The “Cunego’s day” in Giro del Trentino.
And now at Roncone his confirmation exam.

“I said that Damiano Cunego is a little real champion. He must to be patient, able to wait, be modest and less headstrong. But he is an important rider for the future”. Acting as a “director” during the race, Gilberto Simoni nomines Damiano Cunego his potential successor in Giro del Trentino’ list of honour and maybe, one day, in pink jersey’s one. The first stag,e ended at the hard finish of Rumo, it’s signed by Saeco Team, where Cunego at 7 km to go, forcing his rhythm, leaving in progression the Slovenian rider Glocer at 300m to the finish line.


Damiano Cunego at the Vuelta a Murcia. Click for larger image.

The Team Saeco’s day, that controlled the entire race since the beginning, was more positive also by the good performance of Gilberto Simoni, finally convinced and in good form under the sun of his land. “ I think and I wish to be ready - Gilberto said - and if it’s real, aybe I can win Giro del Trentino once again”. It’s a jocke, obviously, by Gilberto, that would be very happy to help his young teammate, to catch his first “heavy” win, during his third year as a professional (however, yet four victories in Cunego’s palmares).

The young guy by Verona, 23 in next September, is enthusiast. “I’m very happy - said smiling - for me this represents not an arrival point, but this performance it’s a beginning. I wish to wear the leader jersey to the end of the race”. After the Italian National Team Manager Franco Ballerini’s compliments, answering about the “azzurro”dream for the next Verona World Championship in October, Damiano replayed: “It would be fantastic, but I have to work hardly to gain it”. Tomorrow, Wendsday, the hardest stage of Giro del Trentino, with the finish on climb at Roncone.

It should be a family “struggle” in Saeco Team: this represents a showtime guarantee for Trentino’s supporters. And the promise of a Giro d’Italia full of emotions.

Stage 1 (Arco-Marcena di Rumo Val di Non, 168.5 km.)


Click for larger image.

Top 20 Places
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita - Saeco) - 04h49'22" (34.938 kph)
2. Jure Golcer (Slo - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 01"
3. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr - Team ICET-Buca del Gatto) - at 05"
4. Serhyi Honchar (Ukr - De Nardi) - at 05"
5. Laurent Dufaux (Swi - Quick Step-Davitamon) - at 05"
6. Gilberto Simoni (Ita - Saeco) - at 05"
7. Juan Manuel Garate Chepa (Spa - Lampre) - at 05"
8. Giuseppe Muraglia (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 05"
9. Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA - Team Barloworld-Androni Gioc.) - at 05"
10. Jamie Burrow (GBR - Amore & Vita-Beretta) - at 05"
11. Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 05"
12. Radoslaw Romanik (Pol - Hoop CCC-Polsat) - at 05"
13. Gerhard Trampusch (Aut - Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) - at 05"
14. Giuliano Figueras (Ita - Panaria-Margres) - at 05"
15. Juan Miguel Mercado Martin (Spa - Quick Step-Davitamon) - at 05"
16. Pavel Tonkov (Rus - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - at 05"
17. Ruggero Borghi (Ita - De Nardi) - at 05"
18. Patxi Vila Errandonea (Spa - Lampre) - at 05"
19. Ryan Cox (RSA - Team Barloworld) - at 05"
20. Stefano Boggia (Ita - Team ICET-Buca del Gatto) - at 05"

Click here for complete Stage Results.

GC after Stage 1 - Top 20 Places:
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita - Saeco) - 04h49'12"
2. Jure Golcer (Slo - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 05"
3. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Ukr - Team ICET-Buca del Gatto) - at 11"
4. Serhyi Honchar (Ukr - De Nardi) - at 15"
5. Laurent Dufaux (Swi - Quick Step-Davitamon) - at 15"
6. Gilberto Simoni (Ita - Saeco) - at 15"
7. Juan Manuel Garate Chepa (Spa - Lampre) - at 15"
8. Giuseppe Muraglia (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 15"
9. Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA - Team Barloworld-Androni Gioc.) - at 15"
10. Jamie Burrow (GBR - Amore & Vita-Beretta) - at 15"
11. Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita - Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé) - at 15"
12. Radoslaw Romanik (Pol - Hoop CCC-Polsat) - at 15"
13. Gerhard Trampusch (Aut - Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) - at 15"
14. Giuliano Figueras (Ita - Panaria-Margres) - at 15"
15. Juan Miguel Mercado Martin (Spa - Quick Step-Davitamon) - at 15"
16. Pavel Tonkov (Rus - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - at 15"
17. Ruggero Borghi (Ita - De Nardi) - at 15"
18. Patxi Vila Errandonea (Spa - Lampre) - at 15"
19. Ryan Cox (RSA - Team Barloworld) - at 15"
20. Stefano Boggia (Ita - Team ICET-Buca del Gatto) - at 15"

Click here for the full GC after Stage 1.

KOM Prime # 1 - Andalo (km. 50.3)
1. Elio Aggiano (Ita - Team LPR Piacenza) - 6 points
2. Patrik Calcagni (Swi - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - 4 points
3. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - 2 points

KOM Prime # 2 - Malasco (km. 112.1)
1. Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Spa - Team LPR Piacenza) - 4 points
2. Graziano Gasparre (Ita - De Nardi) - 2 points
3. Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita - Tenax) - 1 point

Mountains: GC after Stage 1
1. Elio Aggiano (Ita - Team LPR Piacenza) - 6 points
2. Patrik Calcagni (Swi - Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie) - 4 points
2. Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Spa - Team LPR Piacenza) - 4 points
4. Graziano Gasparre (Ita - De Nardi) - 2 points
4. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita - Acqua & Sapone-Caffé Mokambo) - 2 points
6. Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita - Tenax) - 1 point

Hot Spot Sprint - Romeno (km. 106.4)
1. Graziano Gasparre (Ita - De Nardi)
2. Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita - Tenax)
3. Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Spa - Team LPR Piacenza)

Hot Spot Sprints: GC after Stage 1
1. Graziano Gasparre (Ita - De Nardi) - 6 points
2. Renzo Mazzoleni (Ita - Tenax) - 4 points
3. Aitor Hernández Gutiérrez (Spa - Team LPR Piacenza) - 2 points

Teams: Stage 1 Results & GC after Stage 1
1. Saeco - 14h28'16"
2. Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavé - 14h28'17"
3. De Nardi - 14h28'21"
4. Acqua & Sapone-Caffe' Mokambo - 14h28'21"
5. Quick Step-Davitamon - 14h28'43"
6. Ceramiche Panaria-Margres - 14h28'43"
7. Hoop CCC-Polsat Tv - 14h30'15"
8. Vini Caldirola-Nobili Rubinetterie - 14h30'15"
9. Lampre - 14h30'47"
10. Team ICET-Buca Del Gatto - 14h31'06"
11. Team Barloworld-Androni Giocattoli - 14h31'06"
12. Action Ati - 14h31'09"
13. Tenax - 14h31'31"
14. Miche - 14h37'19"
15. Amore & Vita-Beretta - 14h40'51"
16. Team L.P.R.-Piacenza Management - 14h42'09"
17. Elk Haus Radteam Sportunion - 14h51'30"

Wednesday's Stage 2 runs over 171 km. between Livo Val di Non and Roncone.

 
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