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"This is wonderful. Before coming to this race, I did a training camp alone. It's not always easy being away from my family and away from home. But now I am happy. It's a beautiful day," Santaromita says

Photo: Sirotti

IVAN SANTAROMITA

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TOUR OF THE ALPS

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18.04.2013 @ 18:04 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Ivan Santaromita (BMC) was the wiliest of the three-man lead group which had to decide today's third stage of the Giro del Trentino in a sprint. Having observed his rivals closely, he was able to choose the right tactics and took his second pro win on what he described as a beautiful day.

 

BMC has had plenty of trouble this year with classics stars Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert unable to win any of the one-day races and Cadel Evans still far from his 2011 form. In fact, the team only had three wins prior to today's stage in the Giro del Trentino and they had all been taken all the way back in February.

 

Today the drought was broken by a hugely surprising team member as one of Evans' loyal mountain domestiques Ivan Santaromita took the victory in the third stage of the Giro del Trentino. Taking a rare chance to go for personal glory, he outsprinted Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) and Michele Scarponi in a three-man kick to the line to take just his second win as a professional.

 

Having been winless since his overall victory in the 2011 Coppi e Bartali stage race, the Italian was overjoyed to finally step onto the podium again and it was a reward for plenty of sacrifices.

 

"This is wonderful," he said. "Before coming to this race, I did a training camp alone. It's not always easy being away from my family and away from home. But now I am happy. It's a beautiful day."

 

The Italian had remained calm in the final as became clear that the three escapees would have to decide the stage victory between them. He had plenty of time to observe his rivals and that made him choose the right tactics.

 

 "Cadel Evans and (sports director, ed.) Fabio Baldato told me it was a good day for me to get in the breakaway and try to win the stage," he said. "Today, finally, it was perfect. I had good legs and good tactics. I saw Scarponi suffering with cramps and Tiralongo was the best sprinter, so I took his wheel."

 

Tomorrow the race finishes with a very hard summit finish and team captain Evans enters the stage 11th overall. The team only lined up 6 riders in the race and with Sebastian Lander and Martin Kohler both out of the race, only four of squad's members are left in the event.

 

Nonetheless, Baldato is confident ahead of tomorrow's big battle as the GC leader shows good condition and Marco Pinotti improves in his first race since a hard crash in February.

 

"When the race is hard like today and you have good legs, you can make the race even with three or four guys," he said. "Cadel was always with the leaders and was strong. It was good for him to have Ivan in the front. And Pinotti was close to remaining with Cadel and only lost contact with the first chase group in the last kilometers."

 

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