Caisse d'Epargne's Alberto Losada looked to be in a good position to give his team their only win of the 90th Giro d'Italia on stage 19 when he made the winning break and rode off the front of the move with the eventual winner Iban Mayo, but the 25 year-old was left behind with 20 kilometres to go and finished more than four minutes behind the leaders in 54th place.
"It was our last chance to win a stage", explained Alberto Losada after the finish in Terme DI Comano. "We had to try something. In fact, everything happened on the first climb, the Pian delle Fugazze. After several attempts, I found myself in the lead of race together with six other riders. On the descent, I took a little advantage without really wanting it and I continued alone. Then, Iban Mayo joined me and the collaboration between us was perfect. We started the last climb together, but at about three kilometres from the top, he attacked and I had no more energy to follow his rhythm.''
"The Giro has been a very positive experience very positive, where I learned a lot of things. I had some good days, but also some very bad ones, because I suffer from allergies. The weather we had today, cold and rainy, was perfect for me, and I had to try to do something," the Catalan rider concluded.
Fourth place finisher Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) expressed his frustrations about the stage on his website www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen. "It was a horrible day. I rode fast enough, but there was simply no unity within the group in order to catch the two guys in front (Iban Mayo and Alberto Losada). It was annoying. We had Marzano sitting on wheel with the excuse that Petrov was in the classification.
"Unfortunately, there was a headwind on the last climb, which actually I know rather well. That meant that I couldn't attack before, since it would be too hard sitting alone with four riders behind, when the climb isn't steeper. I tried to wait and then close the gap close to the top, but all of a sudden they actually could ride all of them. It was rather frustrating, because I feel that if the sun had shined my chances of a win would have been quite good," Rasmussen said. "Marzano insisted on sitting at the back of the group, so I just stopped pedalling, and then they got away (Evgeni Petrov og Giovanni Visconti). Then he started making a scene, but at that time I really didn't care."
Last year's polka dot jersey winner in the Tour de France was, however, pleased with his form on the day, and will look forward to the remaining stages as further confirmation that he has finally recovered from the broken leg he suffered late last year. "I can't make much use of the result. But, what is quite positive is the fact that I manage to pass the first climb with the best... At this time it is definitely a good sign under conditions that are not optimal for me (bad weather)," Rasmussen said, adding that the stage 20 time trial will be another test.
"It is always nice to ride well known terrain and tomorrow I am definitely going to take the time trial fairly serious. It will be the only long time trial that I will ride before the Tour. I owe that to myself, also because things are going pretty good."
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