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Cunego empty handed in Lombardia, blames teammate Santambrogio

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
October 18, 2009, 12:28 BST,
Updated:
October 18, 2009, 16:35 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, October 18, 2009
Race:
Giro di Lombardia
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) in Giro di Lombardia

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-NGC) in Giro di Lombardia

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Giro di Lombardia: Damiano Cunego misses chance at fourth win

Damiano Cunego's attempt at a fourth Giro di Lombardia win yesterday in Como, Italy, failed for what he believes was lack of team Lampre support.

"I need someone there to help me, I practically did it all on my own," Italy's Cunego told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Cunego, who finished 14th, said teammate Mauro Santambrogio failed to follow team orders in the final 20 kilometres, over the Civiglio and San Fermo climbs. Italy's Santambrogio formed an escape group of six after Ghisallo that lasted until the Civiglio. The top of the climb left a rapid descent with many tight turns and 15.7 kilometres to the finish.

Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) attacked before San Fermo, joined by Santambrogio and then Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank).

"The plan was that Santambrogio was to only pull for me, instead there was a gap and he went, continuing in the escape," said Cunego. "It seemed fine, the others teams had to chase. Then he was the first to be dropped on San Fermo when my rivals all had teammates."

Eventual winner Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) had teammate Cadel Evans. Evans chased Vinokourov's attack and put Gilbert in position for his attack at the top of San Fermo.

Gilbert escaped for the win with Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Cunego tried to take third place in the sprint of 13 riders, but another rider blocked him before the finish line.

Lombardia was Cunego's last race with Santambrogio, who will ride for BMC Racing next season.

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