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Impressive breakaway performance by young Frenchman

Photo: Sirotti






03.03.2013 @ 19:50 Posted by Jesper Johannesen


When Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) beat Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM) in the sprint in the final of the Roma Maxima one day race, he raised his arms to celebrate what he thought was his second victory of the season. 37 seconds earlier, Blel Kadri (Ag2r - La Mondiale) had, however, completed an excellent solo effort to secure the biggest victory of his career.


As RCS Sport announced that the defunct Giro del Lazio would be revived under the Roma Maxima name, Filippo Pozzato was quick to announce his ambitions to win the race. With a tough course in the hills near Rome and a fast, mostly downhill run-in to the spectacular finish in the historical part of the Italian capital, the race seemed tailor-made to the characteristics of the classics star.


When the peloton captured a strong group led by Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) just 200 meters from the finish line, and Pozzato narrowly held off Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM) in the sprint, he raised his arms to celebrate the much-hoped-for victory. As a consequence, the disappointment was obvious when he soon after learned that he had been foiled by a young Frenchman in a determined mood.


Kadri enters the early break

Blel Kadri had joined forces with Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural), Albert Timmer (Argos Shimano), Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Christophe Premont (Crelan Euphony) to establish the day's breakaway after a fast start to the race with plenty of attacks. They quickly build a lead of almost 9 minutes before Pozzato made his intentions clear by putting his Lampre team on the front of the peloton. With the help of Bardiani - CSF Inox team - working for strong sprinter Sacha Modolo - the advantage was gradually brought down.


Astana with Nibali and Movistar with Alejandro Valverde wanted to get rid of the sprinters and make the race hard. As they reached the hills, they applied the pressure by putting a number of men on the front of the peloton, and while a number of riders were dropped at the rear of the bunch, the gap continued its downwards trend.


On the penultimate climb of the day, Kadri sensed the danger and accelerated from his group. Ligthart and Premont were immediately dropped, and soon after the Frenchman had only Cardoso for company. On the steepest part of the climb, the Portuguese had however to let the Kadri go, and the 26-year-old commenced a solo effort with bleak prospects.


Nibali on the attack

Meanwhile, Nibali put in the expected attack, and only Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini - Selle Italia), Francesco Reda and Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni - Giocattoli) were able to follow him. They picked up Timmer and created a strong 5-man chasing group which started to hunt down the lone Frenchman.


On the day's last climb, Timmer was dropped and replaced by Cardoso who was caught by a group in which the cooperation was exemplary. That was not the case in the peloton which exploded on the steep slopes, and a 6 man group containing Valverde, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r - La Mondiale), Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre - Merida) and Angel Vicioso (Katusha) set off in pursuit of the Nibali group.


The peloton regrouped on the descent, and as more people joined, the teams with sprinters started to get organised. With fast finishers Enrico Barbin, Leonardo Duque and Pozzato still in the group, Bardiani, Colombia and Lampre put their remaining domestiques on the front and started to bring back Kadri and the Nibali group.


Kadri holds off the peloton

With a strong chase group and an organized peloton in a determined mood, Kadri's chances of victory looked almost non-existent. With 10 km to go, he was only 46 seconds ahead of the Nibali group and 1.27 ahead of the peloton, and most attention was given to the fight between the group and the peloton.


However, Kadri defied all expectations by putting up a brave fight. With 5 km to go, he still had 38 seconds on the chase group and 50 seconds on the peloton, and he had no intention of giving up. Using his strong time trial abilities, he finished off his solo effort in the most beautiful way and secured the biggest victory of his career in impressive fashion.


The peloton caught the Nibali group on the finishing straight, and Pozzato beat Bole and Barbin in the sprint for the line. In the chaotic final, the Lampre rider was sure that all attackers had been captured, and he celebrated what he thought was his second victory of the season. Soon after he learned of Kadri's exploits and had to settle for the second step on the podium.


The Italian season continues on Wednesday with its first WorldTour event, Tirreno-Adriatico.



1 Blel Kadri - AG2R La Mondiale 04.26.27
2 Filippo Pozzato - Lampre-Merida 0.37
3 Grega Bole - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
4 Enrico Barbin - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
5 Simone Ponzi - Astana Pro Team 
6 Leonardo Fabio Duque - Colombia 
7 Giovanni Visconti - Movistar Team 
8 Simon Geschke - Team Argos-Shimano 
9 Sergey Lagutin - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
10 Sergei Chernetski - Katusha 
11 Mikael Cherel - AG2R La Mondiale 
12 Mirko Selvaggi - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
13 Damiano Caruso - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
14 Amets Txurruka - Caja Rural 
15 Angel Vicioso Arcos - Katusha 
16 Matteo Rabottini - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
17 Francois Parisien - Team Argos-Shimano 
18 Emanuele Sella - Androni Giocattoli 
19 Valerio Agnoli - Astana Pro Team 
20 Mauro Santambrogio - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
21 Dmitry Kozontchuk - Katusha 
22 Riccardo Chiarini - Androni Giocattoli 
23 Omar Fraile Matarranza - Caja Rural 
24 Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez - Androni Giocattoli 
25 Francesco Reda - Androni Giocattoli 
26 Marcel Wyss - IAM Cycling 
27 Christophe Premont - Crelan-Euphony 
28 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
29 Stephen Cummings - BMC Racing Team 
30 Sébastien Reichenbach - IAM Cycling 
31 Alan Marangoni - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
32 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte - Movistar Team 
33 Damiano Cunego - Lampre-Merida 
34 Daniele Pietropolli - Lampre-Merida 
35 Jarlinson Pantano - Colombia 
36 Domenico Pozzovivo - AG2R La Mondiale 
37 Fabio Aru - Astana Pro Team 
38 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso - Caja Rural 
39 Simone Stortoni - Lampre-Merida 0.46
40 Vincenzo Nibali - Astana Pro Team 0.48
41 Giampaolo Caruso - Katusha 1.30
42 Albert Timmer - Team Argos-Shimano 2.07
43 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi - Movistar Team 3.12
44 Manuel Belletti - AG2R La Mondiale 
45 Francesco Lasca - Caja Rural 
46 Luka Mezgec - Team Argos-Shimano 
47 Sacha Modolo - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
48 Oscar Gatto - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
49 Francisco Javier Moreno Allue - Caja Rural 
50 Davide Cimolai - Lampre-Merida 
51 Gilles Devillers - Crelan-Euphony 
52 Rémi Cusin - IAM Cycling 
53 Angel Madrazo Ruiz - Movistar Team 
54 Edoardo Zardini - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
55 Dalivier Ospina Navarro - Colombia 
56 Marcel Aregger - IAM Cycling 
57 Lawrence Warbasse - BMC Racing Team 
58 Maxim Belkov - Katusha 
59 Michael Rodriguez Galindo - Colombia 
60 Rob Ruijgh - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
61 Cameron Wurf - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
62 Pavel Brutt - Katusha 
63 Marco Frapporti - Androni Giocattoli 
64 Darwin Atapuma - Colombia 
65 Thomas Damuseau - Team Argos-Shimano 
66 Juraj Sagan - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
67 Ben Gastauer - AG2R La Mondiale 
68 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
69 Nariyuki Masuda - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
70 Pim Ligthart - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
71 Przemyslaw Niemiec - Lampre-Merida 
72 Patrick Schelling - IAM Cycling 
73 Sylvain Georges - AG2R La Mondiale 
74 Francesco Failli - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
75 Stefano Agostini - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
76 Fabio Felline - Androni Giocattoli 
77 Stefano Garzelli - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
78 Fabio Taborre - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
79 Tomasz Marczynski - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
80 Alessandro Proni - Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 
81 Ivan Velasco Murillo - Caja Rural 
82 Jonathan Fumeaux - IAM Cycling 
83 John Gadret - AG2R La Mondiale 
84 Carlos Julian Quintero - Colombia 
85 Stefano Pirazzi - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
86 Angelo Pagani - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
87 Eros Capecchi - Movistar Team 
88 Enrico Battaglin - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 
89 Daniel Petrov - Caja Rural 4.51
90 Mattia Gavazzi - Androni Giocattoli 6.37
91 Fabio Duarte - Colombia 
92 Vladimir Isaichev - Katusha 
93 Alexandr Pliuschin - IAM Cycling 
94 Martin Kohler - BMC Racing Team 
95 Johannes Fröhlinger - Team Argos-Shimano 
96 Sébastien Delfosse - Crelan-Euphony 
97 Matthias Brandle - IAM Cycling 
98 Tanel Kangert - Astana Pro Team 
99 Sebastian Lander - BMC Racing Team 9.50
100 Klaas Sys - Crelan-Euphony 
101 Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor - Colombia 
102 Joeri Bueken - Crelan-Euphony 
103 Dmitriy Gruzdev - Astana Pro Team 
104 Michel Koch - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
105 Baptiste Planckaert - Crelan-Euphony 
106 Stijn Steels - Crelan-Euphony 
107 Ramon Sinkeldam - Team Argos-Shimano 
108 Wesley Kreder - Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 
109 Reinier Honig - Crelan-Euphony 
110 Massimo Graziato - Lampre-Merida 
111 Fredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff - Astana Pro Team 
112 Federico Canuti - Cannondale Pro Cycling 
113 Klaas Lodewyck - BMC Racing Team 
114 Alessandro Vanotti - Astana Pro Team 
115 Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente - Caja Rural 
116 Thomas Peterson - Team Argos-Shimano 
117 Donato De Ieso - Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox 



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