Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina) made a late attack to try surprise the sprinters and win the Giro d'Italia stage in Cassano d'Adda on Wednesday but was unable to stay away in sight of the finish line and only served as stepping stone for Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), who surged passed to win.
The attack was similar to the way a much younger Pozzato won Milan-San Remo back in 2006. He has rarely lived up the expectations that rose after that win but today showed a glimmer of hope that his career may not be over.
"I had a chance today because were in the third week and some riders are tired. That gives the riders with a bit of talent an extra chance. It's easier to stay up front now because people are taking as many risks for the sprint," he said with his natural insouciance.
"I was trying to help Manuel Belletti for the sprint and so I'd been up front for about 20km. Then I saw a Lotto rider go and that nobody closed him down because the sprinter's teams are pretty low on power after so much hard racing. I went for it and then when I looked around with a kilometre to go and saw I had a gap, I went again. But there was a lot of wind in the final kilometres. I died when I saw that there was still more than 600 metres to go.
Wilier Triestina show their colours
The Wilier Triestina team have struggled so far in this year’s Giro d'Italia while their rival wild card invitation teams have picked up stage victories, or in the case of Damiano Cunego (Nippo Vini Fantini), worn the blue climber's jersey. The Tuscan-based team lost sprinter Jakub Mareczko due to illness early on and second sprinter Manuel Belletti has been suffering with bronchial spasms after going deep in races. Yesterday he was taken to hospital for checks and was close to hyperventilating at the finish in Cassano d'Adda.
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