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Scarponi keeps podium place alive

Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) couldn't follow Basso or Evans

Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) couldn't follow Basso or Evans (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Michele Scarponi has moved up to 8th overall, 6:34 down on David Arroyo after claiming a valuable third place at the top of the Monte Zoncolan behind Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans. Scarponi finshed 1:30 down on Basso.

“It’s been a very hard day”, the Andoni-Diquigiovanni leaders said as he got off the bike. “I didn’t manage to follow Ivan (Basso) with 7km to go. I got dropped off a little bit. Then I rode to the top as best as I could.”

“He overcame the hard time he had at some stage into the climb”, said Gianni Savio, who added: “He could have lost much more, hadn’t he gone for his own rhythm.”

In the team meeting, all the riders except José Serpa were instructed to remain alongside Scarponi as long as they could. “We wanted to have a point of reference and we recommended it would be either Jackson Rodriguez or Carlos Ochoa who are our best climbers besides Serpa and Scarponi”, Savio said.

“Rodriguez made the six-man breakaway, which was good. We thought he could have helped Scarponi in the Zoncolan but there wasn’t much to do anymore when he got caught. But we also had the stage win in mind. That could have happened only if Liquigas didn’t chase so early and had left a 20 minutes gap before the race hit the climbs.”

Savio had set the podium as a goal for Scarponi at the beginning of the Giro. “We stick to that objective”, said the team manager. “But there are three spots on the podium. We’re not saying the top spot isn’t reachable.”