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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) awaits the start
Astana rider ready for a break after successful season
Fredrik Kessiakoff finished his final race of the year in close-to the best possible way at Giro dell’Emilia. He didn’t win the Italian one-day race but he finished a close second. It was another strong ride by the Swede who took a number of important victories this year.
"This was my last race of the year and I want to thank all the riders and staff. It has been an important season in which we have picked up some great wins as well as lots of podiums, just like today’s," said Kessiakoff.
After signing a fresh two-year deal with his Astana team, Kessiakoff now looks to the off-season before rebuilding ahead of 2013. The 32-year-old has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date after a disastrous year in 2010 at Garmin-Transitions.
This year Kessiakoff won a stage at the Tour de Suisse before heading to the Tour de France where he fought a tough battle for the polka-dot jersey against the eventual jersey winner Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and then capped off his second grand tour with a time trial win at the Vuelta a España. Weeks after completing his second Grand Tour of the year Kessiakoff rode to an impressive fifth in the time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.
Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli was pleased with his team’s showing at the Italian one-day race. "We wanted to finish the season strongly," team he said. "It is a shame we couldn’t manage to take the victory, but we were protagonists throughout this race. From the first break of the morning right to the finishing line, our riders featured in all the day’s moves.
"We rode really well. Aside from Kessiakoff, obviously, [Paolo] Tiralongo and [Fabio] Aru showed that they are in good form. The only thing missing, unfortunately, was the win."