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"A very tough day! I suffered much from the cold and the final was difficult for me. It did not go as I had hoped. Nonetheless, the podium is still within range," Scarponi says

Photo: Sirotti

GIRO D'ITALIA

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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18.05.2013 @ 20:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the second time in this year's Giro Michele Scarponi (Lampre) lost time to his podium rivals in this year's Giro. Suffering from the cold he had to stop to change clothes during the stage and when the going got tough, he was unable to follow the best.

 

Early in this year's race Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) said that Michele Scarponi appeared to be the strongest on the climbs in this year's Giro d'Italia and after a perfect time trial performance, the Italian was in a perfect position to battle for the overall win. As soon as the race hit his preferred terrain in the mountains, he did, however, lose ground and today's first stage in the Alps was no exception.

 

While he wrote his first time loss on Altopiano del Montasio down to a bad day, the severe cold that forced organizers to alter today's stage, took out the power of the Italian's legs. He even had to stop to get some warmer clothes at some point in the race and was escorted back to the peloton by Filippo Pozzato.

 

When Nibali attacked on the final Jafferau climb, the Lampre leader had to let his rivals go and he finisheda modest 18th 1.28 behind Nibali. However, he is still 5th in the GC 1.17 behind 3rd-placed Rigoberto Uran (Sky).

 

"A very tough day," Scarponi said. "I suffered much from the cold and the final was difficult for me. It did not go as I had hoped. Nonetheless, the podium is still within range."

 

Scarponi is, however, not the only GC rider in the Italian squad. Przemyslaw Niemiec was also in the top 10 prior to today's stage and unlike what happened in stage 10, the Pole was not asked to wait for his struggling team captain. He finished 15th 1.08 behind Nibali and is now 6th overall 4.55 behind.

 

"I think that for all riders the biggest obstacle today was the cold," he said. "I tried to handle it in the best way. I kept a steady pace and I was able to save some energy for the finish. The problem was evidenced by the fact that my hands were so cold in the last kilometres that I was almost unable to hold my handlebars. I moved up one place on the GC and am moderately satisfied, but I am sorry for Michele who had a difficult day."

 

On a more positive note for the team, Daniele Pietropolli was involved in the day's early break which almost managed to go all the way to the finish. However, they were caught inside the final 3km of the race after Pietropolli had lost contact with his companions.

 

"It 'a shame not to be able to get a reward after such an effort," he said. "I really wanted to go on the attack and I did it. Then we collaborated perfectly. On the climb I kept m pace and I was able to come back after losing a few meters but in the end I had no energy to pick up the pace."

 

The Lampre team will hope to bounce back in tomorrow's highly anticipated stage to the top of the Col du Galibier which after all will go ahead almost unaltered. Starting at 12.45 you can follow the stage in its entirety on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

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