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Trofeo Melinda 2006
By Podofdonny
Date: 8/31/2006
Trofeo Melinda 2006

Trofeo Melinda
Liquigas again! August has been a good month for the
Celeste Warriors ......

Staged since 1992 the tough 194 kilometre course hardly has one flat metre. Despite many efforts the peloton was still together with 5 kilometres to go when Stefano Garzelli broke clear. Only Giovanni Visconti could hold his wheel, but Garzelli was by far the strongest of the two at the finish.

Garzelli alone at the finish!  Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

After what had been a barren year the Liquigas team suddenly cant stop winning, in August, Di Luca took stage 5 and the lead in the Vuelta , Vincenzo Nibali won the GP Ouest France in Plouay, Luca Paolini has won the GP di Camaiore and Quinziato had a great victory in the ENECO Tour.

Here is the Bianchi report.
This is an extraordinary moment for the Liquigas team: yesterday, Di Luca won at the Vuelta; today, Garzelli won at the Trofeo Melinda - Nibali and Pellizotti were among the best riders

Stefano Garzelli, after race portrait by Fotoreporter Stefano Sirotti.

Stefano Garzelli has won the Trofeo Melinda, 194 km for a very demanding route. The Liquigas rider has crowned the excellent performance of the whole team that have been keeping under control the race from the begging to the end.

After Andrea No did a great work, Vincenzo Nibali and Franco Pellizotti have taken turns at the front of the race to protect Garzelli who has also managed to keep his energy. The rider from Varese attacked with 5 km to go and only Visconti has stayed on his wheel. With 3 km to go, Garzelli did most work in person till the final sprint he won with authority.

Stefano Garzelli has said: "I was going to keep in peak form as long as possible. I can say to have hit my goal. In truth, I feel better day by day. Today, like in the latest races, Ive felt better in the last kilometres than at the beginning of the race. I must thank my team for their great support and Im optimistic about next races."

This will be the Italian Stefano Garzelli s last season in the Liquigas colours. He will ride for the ProContinental team Acqua & Sapone next season on a two year contract.

Garzelli with the Trophy Melinda. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti

Lampre/Fondital Report:
Trofeo Melinda was won by Stefano Garzelli, who preceded Visconti and Anz; but also Lampre-Fondital's riders Valjavec and Bruseghin were protagonists. The Slovene, in the first part of the race, was in a breakaway that the bunch neutralized, then was part of the best group and surrendered only on the last climb: Valjavec finished 10th at 23" from the winner.

Bruseghin was with the best riders in the final part of the race: he obtained the 16th olace at 1'04". Good performance also for Possoni, who took part in the first breakaway of the day.

Damiano Cunego reached the finish line in 48th position: for the Tour's with jersey the race was a final parade of the season, after the 194 kms of Trofeo Melinda have been the last covered by Damiano during this outstanding season (Damiano will take part only is some Circuit races).

Podium Visconti, Garzelli and Anza. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Trofeo Melinda
194 kms - 5:05:00
1. Stefano Garzelli (Ita-LIQ) 5h05'00"
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita-MRM) 0'04"
3. Santo Anza (Ita-CLM) 0'08"

4. Dainius Kairelis (Ltu-AMO) 0'11"
5. Luca Mazzanti (Ita-PAN) 0'14"
6. Massimiliano Maisto (Ita-TUC) 0'17"
7. Benoit Salmon (Fra-AGR) s.t.
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita-LIQ) 0'20"
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita-ACQ) 0'22"
10. Tadej Valjavec (Slo-LAM) 0'23"

Courtesy of Bianchi

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