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  "It might have been better to not wait for other guys in the last kilometers and taken more initiative myself"

Photo: RadioShack-Nissan

ANDY SCHLECK

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GP CAMAIORE

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MATTHEW BUSCHE

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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01.03.2013 @ 12:03 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

 

Former American champion Matthew Busche (Radioshack-Leopard-Trek) performed strongly in yesterday's edition of the GP Citta di Camaiore where he ended up just outside the podium in 4th. While he was encouraged by his condition, he was less impressed by his own tactics.

 

Matthew Busche has not had many chances to prove his worth on the star-loaded Radioshack team, and he has often been seen on the front of the peloton setting the pace on the climbs for teammates with more impressive palmares. Yesterday he got a rare chance to go for personal glory in the GP Citta di Camaiore.

 

Busche did not disappoint sport director Kim Andersen. When Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) forced the final selection near the top of final time up Monte Pitoro with 10 kilometers left, Busche was able to get into the 12-man front group. But when eventual winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Dennis Menchov (Katusha) tried to escape on the descent, and Busche was trying to close the gap alone, he hesitated and returned to the chasing group. Afterwards, he regretted this decision.

 

"On that last climb there were attacks from Rubiano and Nibali," Busche explained.  Over the top we were with some 12 riders. Before the descent, there was a false flat and right there Sagan attacked with Caruso (it was Menchov, ed.). I chased to bring them back, but when I saw other guys behind me were chasing too, I waited for them. In the end, it might have been better if I’d kept going."

 

“In the descent, a bad maneuver of a TV motor bike let 4 of us split away from the leading group. Luckily in the front they were looking at each other and wasting time in the last 3 kilometers, so I could come back. Of course I didn't have the energy for a perfect sprint. I didn't sprint at the proper time, but this result is promising for the rest of the season."

 

The experience left a bitter-sweet taste.

 

"I’m happy but also disappointed. Immediately after the race I felt that I had more in my legs. It might have been better to not wait for other guys in the last kilometers and  to take more initiative myself, then I would have been on the podium and maybe even as winner.  It’s disappointing to be so close, but on the other hand I’m excited to see my condition is at a good level, and it will only get better. In the future I will have more opportunities for myself and for the team."

 

Kim Andersen satisfied with overall performance

Despite Busche's own regrets, team director Kim Andersen was satisfied with the overall performance. Not only was Busche in the lead group, the team was strongly represented in the chasing group which reached the finish line just 40 seconds after Sagan. The team's young sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo even won the sprint from the group to end up 13th.

 

 “I expected that the Italian teams would control the break and bring everything back together," Andersen explained after the race. "It happened like that, so we didn’t have to chase the entire day.  It was obvious that the last climb would be decisive.  Matthew was there and was really impressive.  Just behind his group were our guys Nizzolo, Didier and Bakelants.  Giacomo won the sprint from that group.”

 

Andy Schleck finally finishes race

Another remarkable performance was the one of the team's star rider Andy Schleck. After fracturing his pelvis in the time trial of last year's Criterium du Dauphine in June, the 2010 Tour de France has failed to finish a single race. He lined up at Binche-Tournai-Binche and Tour of Beijing at the end of last season, but was forced to abandon both. This year an untimely puncture on the final stage of the Tour Down Under left him with no other choice than to step off the bike, and he abandoned the first stage of the Tour Mediteraneen citing illness.

 

Having cancelled his participation in the Tour du Haut Var, he finally finished a bike race yesterday as he rolled over the line in the last group 5.30 after Sagan. Andersen feels that this has put him back on track.

 

“I’m also happy about the comeback of Andy," he said.  "On the second to last climb, he had to drop back with some 20 other riders, including Popo (Yaroslav Popovych, ed.) and Danilo (Hondo, ed.).  He finished the race and was in a good mood.  We are headed in the right direction."

 

Schleck will next participate in the Strade Bianche tomorrow before he gets his European WorldTour calendar underway in Tirreno-Adriatico which starts on Wednesday.

 

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