- Article published:
- May 29, 2006, 00:00
- Tim Maloney, European Editor
Team Milram came to the Giro d'Italia with the objective of winning at least a few stages, but...
Team Milram came to the Giro d'Italia with the objective of winning at least a few stages, but suffered a huge setback when Alessandro Petacchi crashed out in stage 3. The loss of the captain saw Milram really struggle to make an impact on the results, even if they often rode like they still had a top sprinter in their team. There were, of course, several other fast men wearing the light blue colours, such as the experienced leadout man Alberto Ongarato, as well as Elia Rigotto and Mirco Lorenzetto, but none of them could quite manage to win.
In the final stage, Milram did set up a train in the final three kilometres, but by that stage had already lost Lorenzetto to a crash. He was bitterly disappointed not to finish the Giro. "From the Tour de Romandie, I thought about the sprint in Milano," said Lorenzetto. "I was convinced that my characteristics were suited perfectly to this finale. Unfortunately, this time also, the bad luck hit hard. I skidded unexpectedly and I fell on my right thigh. More than the physical pain, I have the emotional disappointment for losing a chance like this in the stupidest manner."
Plan B revolved around Alberto Ongarato, who attacked in the final kilometre with Sacchi sitting up behind him to open a gap, but he didn't manage to hold off the rest of the sprinters. "I'm sorry not to have achieved anything," said Ongarato. "Today we had decided to adopt a little bit of a different tactic, looking to surprise the gruppo in the last kilometre, and, in case of a sprint, aiming to lead out Lorenzetto, but in the end, thanks to a bit of bad luck for us and a bit of good luck for our opponents, our plan didn't come off."
Finally, team manager Gianluigi Stanga summed up the race: "It was a Giro that was logically conditioned by Petacchi's accident. We raced 19 of the 21 stages without our leader, and everyone knows that this Milram team was constructed completely for him. At any rate, we still tried to be protagonists, varying the tactics of the race and throwing in Ghisalberti (21st on GC) onto the international stage, who, being a debutante at the Giro, we can still consider a youngster and therefore one of the nicest revelations of this corsa rosa."