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"No pressure" for Albasini on final stage of Volta a Catalunya

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 26, 2012, 6:15 BST,
Updated:
March 26, 2012, 7:16 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 26, 2012
Race:
Volta a Catalunya
Michael Albasini (GreenEdge) led start to finish in the Volta a Catalunya

Michael Albasini (GreenEdge) led start to finish in the Volta a Catalunya

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Swiss notches another win for GreenEdge

GreenEdge claimed their third WorldTour race of their inaugural season on Sunday with Michael Albasini confidently holding onto the overall lead at Volta a Catalunya that he had maintained possession of from Stage 1, a week ago.

"I need to thank the team for the work that they've done throughout the week," said Albasini. "This is an important win for me personally and for the team. It would have been impossible without them."

Albasini kicked off his UCI tally with 112 points for his effort, also moving GreenEdge up the teams' ranking from fourth to second. Teammate Simon Gerrans maintain the individual rankings lead following his overall victory at the Tour Down Under in January, along with Milan-San Remo.

"We're extremely excited to give these victories to our supporters," said Sports Director Neil Stephens. "We always do our very best, but the results don't always show that. When you work really hard and come out with the win, it's an outstanding feeling."
Stephens said that the key objective for the final stage was to stay out of trouble.

"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 stayed with the front group to finish 32nd man across the finish line, losing no time to his nearest rivals, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol).

"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."

Impey relished the opportunity for the overall victory for his teammate.

"This was a really good first race of the season with GreenEdge," the South African explained. "Last year, I was on a team [Team NetApp] that came close to several overall victories, but we always ran second. The last time I won a bike race was in 2009. To see Michael get a win that I played a big part in, feels like a personal win. It's a huge win on the WorldTour level."

 

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