Colnago riders continued their run of victories with Sacha Modolo winning a high-speed sprint in Turkey, Thomas Voeckler impressing in Gabon and Aleksandr Serebryakov winning the stage five sprint in the Tour of Korea.
The Colnago-CSF Inox team celebrated Andrea Di Corrado’s first ever professional victory at the Tour of Turkey on Thursday and the champagne corks were popping again on Friday after Sacha Modolo won a high-speed sprint in Kusadasi. Teammate Enrico Battaglin made a late solo attack but when he was swept up, Modolo got the perfect lead out from Marco Coledan and then charged to the line, distancing Australians Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw.
“This is a special win for me. I’ve been trying to land a win to boost my moral for the Giro d’Italia. I’ve finally done it. It was a hard stage but I stayed with the best riders and I beat some big name riders in the sprint. This win is dedicated to the team who helped me so much and to my child who will be born in September,” Modolo said.
Voeckler stars in Gabon, Serebryakov in Korea
Thomas Voeckler of Team Europcar is the star of La Tropical Ammisa Bongo stage race being contested in Gabon, central Africa. He won stage three on Thursday and then finished second on Friday’s fourth stage as he helped his teammate Anthony Charteau take the overall race lead.
In Korea, Aleksandr Serebryakov (Team Type 1 – Sanofi) won a sprint finish with is Colnago M10 bike, to make up for being relegated in the stage three.
“The pressure was off psychologically because we feel like we actually won the stage two days ago, before being relegated, and this was a chance for us to build on our confidence and win a little justice for Team Type 1-Sanofi,” Serebryakov said.
All three riders could secure more success in the remaining stages of the Tour or Turkey, La Tropical Ammisa Bongo and the Tour of Korea.
Colnago bikes were in the thick of the action during Liege-Bastogne-Liege thanks to an aggressive performance by Team Type 1 - Sanofi, Landbouwkrediet-Euphony and Team Europcar.
Reinier Honig (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1 - Sanofi) were part of the six-rider breakaway that dominated much of the hilly race. Riding their Colnago M10 bikes they helped the move open a 12-minute lead and stayed clear until close to the 200km point.
Rolland had ridden the Giro del Trentino stage race just before Liege-Bastogne-Liege but went on the attack early, taking a move up to the breakaway on the Levée climb. He was riding his special lime-green Colnago M10 and lead the race over the famous La Redoute climb. He was still riding well when the big-name favourites came across to the group, including team leader Thomas Voeckler, who was strong despite a crash at the foot of the climb.
Vincenzo Nibali went on the attack alone in the finale but again Rolland tried to go across to him, while Voeckler saved his strength for the finish in Liege. It proved to be the right tactic and while Maxim Iglinskiy went on to catch and beat Nibali, Voeckler was strong enough to fight out the sprint and finished fourth.
It was a impressive end to Voeckler’s and Colnago’s spring classic campaign: The ever-aggressive Frenchman finished in the top ten three times in April: he was eighth at the Tour of Flanders, fifth at the Amstel Gold Race and then fourth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Few other riders have such talent and consistency.
Immediately after the race, Voeckler also flew to Africa for the Tropicale Amissa Bongo (the Tour of Gabon). The classics may be over but the racing and success for Colnago continues. Next up in Europe is the Tour de Romandie and then the Giro d’Italia.
Colnago CSF Inox’s Domenico Pozzovivo was today crowned the overall winner of the 2012 Giro del Trentino, following an epic final stage in freezing cold conditions.
Italian-born Pozzovivo finished third at the end of the 4th stage, close to the top of the 2239m high Passo Pordoi – competing in heavy snow.
With the final stage starting from a Spring-like Castelletto Di Brenzone on Lake Garda, the 177.5km stage was won by Colombia-Coldeportes rider Darwin Atapuma, three seconds ahead of Acqua & Sapone’s Carlos Betancur, six seconds in front of third place Pozzovivo.
A natural born climber, Pozzovivo rode his Colnago M10 through the 23 hairpins of the final climb, controlling the race in heavy snow. Attacking the last kilometre, Pozzovivo demonstrated why he was the overall winner of the Giro del Trentino.
The final classification of the Giro del Trentino saw the Colnago sponsored Pozzovivo finishing 40” ahead of Damiano Cunego and 1’04” in front of Sylvester Szymd.
Ahead of the final stage, Pozzovivo said winning “Would be the most beautiful victory of my life,” and as the Giro d’Italia looms closer, Pozzovivo’s domination of the Giro del Trentino highlights the Colnago rider’s exciting display of form.
Domenico Pozzovivo confirmed he is one of the best pure climbers in professional cycling by conquering the terrible Punta Veleno climb at the Giro del Trentino, winning the stage and taking the overall race lead.
Pozzovivo distanced all his rivals on the painfully steep slopes of the Punta Veleno climb. He spun a small gear on his Colnago C59 Italia bike and continued to gain time all the way to the finish. He finished 23 ahead of Sylvester Szmyd and 1:12 ahead of Damiano Cunego. Pozzovivo now leads overall, ahead of Cunego by 25 seconds.
It was a classy performance by the diminutive Italian climber as the Giro d’Italia approaches. Pozzovivo pulled on the leader’s ciclamino coloured jersey and also took control of the climber’s green jersey.
“It’s an incredible climb. Fortunately it went well for me. I’m really happy,” Pozzovivo gasped just seconds after reaching the finish. “I managed to stay calm and in control. The team controlled the race early on and then I attacked when I wanted to and I quickly got a gap. The climb was so hard that I had to use 34x29 and I only changed to 34x27 near the top.”
He and his Colnago CSF Inox teammates now have to defend the race lead during Friday’s final stage to the summit of the Passo Pordoi. Ideal terrain for such a strong pure climber as Pozzovivo.
“I hope to do well on the Pordoi. It’s not a difficult climb and so the team will be important, especially on the flat roads before the climb. There will be attacks but I’m on form and ready for a fight.”
Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) showed he is a favourite for the upcoming Ardennes classics with an emphatic solo victory at the Brabantse Pijl race in Belgium.
Voeckler attacked alone, 30km from the finish, dancing up the steep climbs on his special lime-green Colnago C59 Italia bike. He suffered as the rain soaked the race, showing the pain of his effort on his face but continued to extend his lead all the way to the line. Spain’s Oscar Freire won the sprint for second place but was 1:11 behind Voeckler.
It was Voeckler’s first win of 2012 but came at the right time, just four days before the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands.
“I wanted to go well and this kind of course suits me,” Voeckler said before climbing onto the winner’s podium with his son. “I was fifth a few years ago. I knew the course and knew it was better to attack because most teams didn’t have a lot of riders. I didn’t think I’d make it to the finish alone, I thought some riders would come up. But I raced hard to gain a minute’s lead, knowing it would mentally crack the other riders.”
Voeckler’s dominant performance in the first hilly Belgian race of the season makes him a natural favourite for Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race. Voeckler Modestly played down his chances but must have a great chance in the Netherlands.
“I just want to do well, I don’t know if I can win,” he said. “Winning Brabantse Pijl doesn’t automatically mean I’ll do well in Amstel. But I’ve done well in the past at Amstel and so winning is a goal. For now I’m just happy to win my first race of the season.”
Sebastien Turgot (Team Europcar) became the first Frenchman to finish on the Paris-Roubaix podium since 1997 and showed of the qualities of his Colnago Prestige bike on the pave with a determined second place in Paris-Roubaix.
Turgot tried a lone attack before eventual winner Tom Boonen took off and the Frenchman still had the legs to fight his way back into contention in the Roubaix velodrome. He timed his sprint to perfection, coming over the top of his rivals to beat Alessandro Ballan by a just a couple of millimetres in the sprint.
It was a great day for Team Europcar, with David Veilleux also in the long breakaway that shaped much of the race and survived the terrible Forest of Arenberg sector. When the race came back together, Turgot was there and rode an intelligent race, letting his special Colnago Prestige bike dominate the cobbles of northern France.
The Colnago Prestige frame is similar to those used by cyclo-cross stars Sven Nys and current world champion Niels Albert. It has excellent wheel clearance and cantilever brakes but is lighter thanks to a special refined carbon fibre design. The legendary Colnago C40 dominated the pave in the past; now the Colnago Prestige has proved again that it is perfect for the pave.
“I never thought I’d pull of a result like that but my legs felt good,” Turgot said after proudly climbing onto the podium with Boonen and Ballan.
“I tried with 60km to go, to see how I was, and realised I could do something. After that I rode intelligently and made sure I was in the right position on the pave sectors. When we were two or three kilometres from the finish and close to catching the trio, I told myself to give it everything and then try in the sprint. My rim was touching the brakes but I told myself not to think about it and go all out to the line. It’s great to finish on the podium behind Tom Boonen. It pays me and the Europcar team back for all the sacrifices and hard work we’ve done.”
Team Europcar manager Jean-Rene Bernadeau described Turgot’s performance as historic.
“This is a huge result for Sebastien and the team. He’s got a real love for the classics and this result pays him and the team back for all the work we’ve done. There are no secrets to our success.”
Colnago has again supplied Team Europcar with special bikes for Paris-Roubaix, to help the riders handle the battering and blows of the legendary pave.
Four riders from the French team will use custom versions of the Colnago Prestige bike developed with the advice of cyclo-cross star Sven Nys and used by Niels Albert to win the 2012 world cyclo-cross title. This road version is lighter but has similar wheel clearance and is fitted with cantilever brakes.
Damien Gaudin used a similar bike in the 2011 Paris-Roubaix, finishing in the front group of big name favourites.
Other riders at Team Europcar have opted for custom versions of the Colnago C59 for Paris-Roubaix. The frames have a longer wheelbase to boost comfort and bike control on the pave, while offering high performance on the road.
Colnago bikes have shaped the history of Paris-Roubaix by revolutionising the bike design for the world’s toughest race. The iconic Colnago C40 frame Colnago won Paris-Roubaix five times in the nineties with the Mapei team: Franco Ballerini in 1995, Johan Museeuw in 1996, Ballerini again in 1998, Andrea Tafi in 1999 and Museeuw again in 2000.
Before the creation of the Colnago C40, riders tried different suspension designs and radical frame materials. However the Colnago C40 frame combined with the Precisa straight forks was a far better solution. Colnago proved that the right frame geometry and a high quality carbon fibre frame design offered the perfect performance on the pave.