3.26.2012

Albasini wins Volta a Catalunya:Happy to pay back team mates by finishing off the job

I didn't watch the race so was curious to read how it went. I find really nice by Albasini to considere his victory the result of a team work: he got the leader jersey by a stage victory but for to keep it he needed the help and sacrifice of each one. It has been an atypical race, many big names retired, the weather conditions were sometimes extreme. Albasini and his team resisted: bravo!
GreenEdge press release
" (...) The final stage was a short, nervous day between Badalona and Barcelona that included three category three climbs and a category one climb. The early break of nine riders never gained more than two minutes on the field, and the last rider from the break was reabsorbed around 30 kilometers from the finish on the slopes of the penultimate climb.

"There was really no moment today when we were under terrible pressure," said Neil Stephens. "Those moments came earlier in the week. Today, we observed the different objectives of the other teams. When Garmin made their interests known, we let them ride on the front and took a secondary role. We knew all we needed to do was get Michael to the final climb. He started the day with a 1:30 lead. Even if he had gotten into a bit of a trouble on the last climb, which he never did, it would have been unlikely for him to lose that much time."

Albasini not only stayed with the lead group on the final climb, he also managed to stay with the leaders on the technical descent. Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) took his second stage win ahead of Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD). Albasini finished on the same time as the stage winner to retain both the leader's jersey and his 1:30 advantage over Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) rounded out the overall podium two seconds further down.

"I had Daryl [Impey] with me on the final climb," explained Albasini. "He has been by my side throughout the entire week. Each of my teammates did everything we asked them to do. They rode an incredible race, and I'm happy to pay them back by finishing off the job with the win."

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