Davide Rebellin of Diquigiovanni missed out on winning the rain-soaked GP Lugano Sunday in Switzerland despite being in top form. The Italian added a second place behind Rémi Pauriol to his season palmarès that includes two stage wins in the Vuelta a Andalucía.
"On the descent, in the rain, my muscles froze up," Rebellin told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "So I found myself helpless in the sprint."
Rebellin was very active in the race. He joined the move including Pauriol and his Cofidis teammate, Amaël Moinard, after their former companions – Linus Gerdemann (Milram) and Philip Deignan (Cervélo TestTeam) – faded from the front. He did not risk it all on the wet and dangerous descent down towards Lago di Lugano.
Remaining only with Pauriol, he led out the sprint because he feared the chase group led by Australian Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam). "If they caught us it would have been worse off."
Rebellin proved his form the previous day when he played a hand in teammate Francesco Ginanni's win in the GP Insubria. His second in the 178km race behind the winner of the GP Marseillaise proved he to be ready for his March objectives: Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17), and Milano-Sanremo (March 21).
"I will aim for a stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. With the new climb [of Le Mànie in Milano-Sanremo] the finale is harder and lends itself to attacks."
Rebellin turned professional in 1992. His highest placing in Milano-Sanremo is fourth, which he achieved in 1995 and 2008.