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"We’re going to try again next year. The Spanish riders are the biggest losers of the world road race championship.”

Photo: Sirotti

MICHELE SCARPONI

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NEWS

PAOLO BETTINI

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NEWS

VINCENZO NIBALI

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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NEWS
30.09.2013 @ 10:14 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

There was no sense of defeat as the Italians returned to their team bus after yesterday’s world road race championship and commented on the events of the day that saw the riders exposed to torrential rain showers, crashes and an immense battle to finish it off.

 

National coach Paolo Bettini said he had no regrets about the way the Italians rode.

 

“We did everything we could today,” Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport. We rode to win and I would rather finish fourth having tried than lose the way Spain did.”

 

His sentiments were shared by the riders of the Italian team.

 

“The crashes were the only things I would change,” explained Michele Scarponi who did well to instigate the move that saw pre-race favourites Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and reigning world champion Philippe Gilbert dropped.

 

“In the finale,” added Scarponi, “the Belgians were completely absent, as were the Swiss. Only the Spaniards remained and watched everything slip through their fingers."

 

Subsequently Vincenzo Nibali arrived at the team bus to a rapturous reception by the Italian tifosi.

 

“I gave everything I had in order to fight my way back into the race. At first I didn’t want to remount after my crash, but I managed to pull myself together and then I tried in every possible way. I attempted to sprint but Valverde changed direction and pushed me over to the right. But I didn’t have any energy left and I couldn’t even chase down Rui Costa when he went because I had been left to do all the work against the two Spaniards. We’re going to try again next year. The Spanish riders are the biggest losers of the world road race championship.”

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