While the flat roads on the opening stage of the Tour of Beijing meant that any breakaway attempts had little chance of success, Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) was one of five escapees who looked to defy the odds by zipping off the front of the peloton shortly after it had left the imposing surrounds of Tiananmen Square.
Malori and his comrades’ task was complicated still further by the wind that cleared Beijing’s famously smoggy skies at least for one day, but which made staying clear on the long straights of the finishing circuit a somewhat Sisyphean task.
The Italian told Cyclingnews afterwards that his main objective was simply to allow his teammates a quiet afternoon’s work in the service of sprinter Alessandro Petacchi.
“My attack was planned so that my teammates could be quiet in the peloton and so that the other teams would have to work,” Malori said. “I knew that it would be very hard to get to the finish with all this wind because the peloton can decide when to bring you back but I tried.”
Malori picked up the prize for the day’s most aggressive rider for his troubles, but Petacchi was unable to make an impact in the sprint and finished ninth place behind winner Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Like most members of the peloton, the Tour of Beijing brings down the curtain on Malori’s season. Despite of a brief spell in the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia, the third-year professional was harsh in his assessment of his campaign. National time trial champion last season, the Parma native failed to pick up a win in 2012 and admitted that his report card reads ‘could do better.’
“I am not so happy, because it could and should have been better, but that pink jersey saved my season,” he said. “But I cannot be so happy with this season and I hope that next year will be better. My target is always the time trial and my second
target is to keep improving on the climbs.”