Strongest Lombardia ever for ORICA-GreenEDGESun 5 Oct 2014
Multiple 2014 Tour of Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini has finished sixth in ORICA-GreenEDGE's strongest performance at the Il Lombardia in Italy today.
The 33-year-old featured amongst a select group over the difficult final climb within the last five kilometres, battling for the top ten position behind Dan Martin (GRS) who escaped off the front with 500metres to ride for the victory.
“By far this is the best Lombardia the guys have raced since the beginning of the team,” sport director Matt White said after the race.
“Every team struggles to put eight riders in form into a race at this time of year but the four we had in the final had a super ride.
“(Michael) Albasini went in the split on the last climb. He got himself into very good position at the bottom of that climb in Bergamo and put in a very credible ride for sixth.
“That’s the best ride he has ever had at Lombardia, on a new course that actually suits us a little more.”
Earlier in the day, a trio of riders bridged the gap to an initial move of eight-riders forming the first and largest break of the day.
The eleven-strong move gained a maximum advantage of over ten minutes after 60km of racing, before the peloton responded and began to chip away the lead.
The pressure from behind saw the front group diminish and as the gap minimised the counter attacks began from the peloton, amongst them ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Pieter Weening.
Weening, a multiple Giro d’Italia stage winner, was accompanied by two riders as he bridged across to the remaining three leaders and went on with the attack
“We knew we had to pre-empt the final move and Pieter Weening started that move and then he attacked the front group,” White said.
“That was a very dangerous move and if there had been a bit more cooperation from his counterpart they were a big chance of winning.”
2012 Vuelta a Espana King of the Mountain Simon Clarke was involved in crash within the chasing peloton on the final corner but has avoided serious injury.
“Simon (Clarke) was involved in a heavy fall late in today’s race but after examination has been lucky to emerge with just braises and bruises to his face, shoulders and knees,” ORICA-GreenEDGE’s head of medical Peter Barnes said.
ORICA-GreenEDGE’s 2014 season wraps up with the Tour of Beijing from Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th of October.