Giro d'Italia (st. 9)
Ventoso opens Movistar Team’s 2012 Giro account with an amazing sprint in Frosinone to repeat his success from last year and notch up the Blues’ 14th win of the season
Movistar Team had been searching for a win since last Friday with the first mountains in the 2012 Giro d’Italia, and the telephone squad ended up finding their way into success and a prize to combativity with a sprint finish. Just like last year, Fran Ventoso opened the Blues’ victoy account in this year’s Corsa Rosa with a superb volata at Frosinone’s finish, the ending point of a 166-kilometer trek from San Giorgio del Sannio.
The Spanish fastman imposed his strength with an enormous overcoming from back positions, taking back on his place in the final straigth after a crash took some of the leading riders down. Ventoso was 7th out of the final turn where the incident took place and started his progression with 350 meters to go, eventually outsprinting Fabio Felline (AND) and Giacomo Nizzolo (RNT) to notch up his second success in three appearances in the Italian grandtour -he took another sprint win in Fiuggi-, also his second of the season after the one on stage three in the Circuit de La Sarthe back in April, plus his 29th in nine seasons as a pro cyclist. The mountains will be back in the Giro on Tuesday, with the hilltop finish in Assisi (4k on an 8.8% average gradient) after 186k starting at Civitavecchia.
QUOTES / Fran Ventoso: “I knew the small climbs in the finale since I rode the Giro in 2005 and I knew that it was going to be a hard finsh. We all suffered really much with the attacks by Purito, and I had to recover many positions in the descent before that final turn. I knew I was too far from the top places, but when I saw there were some riders not taking it properly, I saw a chance coming for me. I came in good position through the turn and knew that had to go on full steam until the finish. Nizzolo was really far, but I started recovering bit by bit and I was only thinking of not being overcome like him and keeping the lead until the line.
To tell the truth, I haven’t had many chances in the sprints until today; I saved the bit of energy I could for this second week because I knew sprints like this would be happening, and we could snatch the win at the first attempt. We were really close to winning in the last few stages, and today’s victory was the reward for that constance and that superb average level by all the team. I think we will be getting new victories thanks to the calmness this win will give us. This race is becoming a talisman one for me. By the kind of finishes, this is the race that suits me the best, and last year my gamble for the Giro went well. I won just 20 kilometers from here; it seems like this region brings me much luck. I was at Sierra Nevada on a 17-day training camp to prepare for this race. Those were three hard weeks, with lots of training, but as it usually happens, work brings its fruit and you don’t remember of those moments now, but the good things that it brought to you.”