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“I wasn’t nearly as strong last year as I am now at Roma Maxima, but when I saw the group coming and I knew that there were faster sprinters from the team than me, I waited and did a few strong pulls to bring the peloton to the...

Photo: Sirotti


10.03.2014 @ 13:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alejandro Valverde narrowly held off the chasing group to win yesterday's Roma Maxima after a very aggressive and exciting race. We have already posted several reactions and have gathered a few more below.


Tanel Kangert (Astana, 39th +0.06)

I wasn’t nearly as strong last year as I am now at Roma Maxima, but when I saw the group coming and I knew that there were faster sprinters from the team than me, I waited and did a few strong pulls to bring the peloton to the finish.


“I needed these two races this weekend to top up my fitness for Tirreno-Adriatico next week, and I’m really looking forward to some good results in Italy”


Matthias Brändle (IAM, part of the early breakaway, 15th +0.01)

“I really wanted to get into the main break of the day.  The legs were good, but we never really had that much of a gap.  It was unrealistic to expect to be able to pull off a victory under those conditions.


“Though we did have over seven minutes in hand at one point, the other riders in the break never really committed 100%.  With that being the case, I had no chance to work for a win myself. 


"Now I’ll go home and prepare for the Coppa Stresa and the Critérium International, but before that I am pleased that I will also be participating in the team’s first training camp that will focus on working towards the team time trial event at the World Championships this September.  Not everyone will be there, but it will prove useful to help us learn our roles and have the process become like second nature.”


Marcello Albasini (sports director IAM whose best rider was Reto Hollenstein in 13th)

“Matthias set off for the day with a mission to go for the victory.  But the others in the group did not have what it took to stay away till the end.  Aside from that, Movistar mounted a fierce charge from behind, with a view to launching Alejandro Valverde towards victory, which in the end worked. 


"On our side, we maintained a good position with Tschopp among the strongest in the chasing group behind Valverde and Pozzovivo.  We could also count on Wyss, Hollenstein and Fumeaux in the main peloton, just hovering behind.  Unfortunately, none of our guys were fast enough to take part in the sprint, though we did end up with five guys in the top 30.”


Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida, 34th +0.06)

"Unfortunately, we didn't win but I can feel good about my day. The sensations were like I had expected and to be able to fight with the best gives me confidence."


Orlando Maini (sports director Lampre-Merida whose best rider was Filippo Pozzato in 12th)

"The most interesting points of the day came from [Niccolo] Bonifazio and [Winner] Anacona. Niccolo had been given the task of taking care of the attacks in the first part of the race. He did his job to perfection and worked well in the break.


"Then Anacona has shown his good condition to battle with the best on the climbs even though this was his first European race of the season and the first since the Tour de San Luis in January.


"Pozzato was also not bad. His pace on the climb was good and it allowed him to remain at a short distance from the front of the race. In addition, these days of competitions allow him to continue the work he did at his training camp."


Manel Lacambra (sports director MTN-Qhubeka whose best rider was Sergio Pardilla in 25th)

“The team raced very well today. From the start we were in all the moves and in the break of the day we had Daniel [Teklehaimanot] and Dennis [Van Niekerk] there. The goal was to have them at the front after the last climb to help Sergio in the last move but Movistar chased hard all day and closed the break before the last climb. Then Sergio was with the group of the stronger riders but Sky had not one in the front group and so they chased very hard from the peloton.


 “In general I am happy because we raced well and we did all we can. When the final group caught Sergio we knew he could not sprint against those sprinters. Some teams changed their rosters in the last 3 races and we haven’t and so every day with each race we just got better and better. This gives us great confidence for the next races."


Jose Azevedo (sports director Katusha whose best rider was Angel Vicioso in 11th)

“The strongest won today. Valverde and Nairo Quintana from Movistar kept attacking until Valverde got away with Pozzovivo on the last steep climb. With 25km to go they had more than a minute. We had Paolini, Kolobnev, Vicioso and Vorganov in the chasing group, with others teams helping, too. We almost got them back. Pozzovivo was caught but Valverde held on to one second.”



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