The moment the race was won

Saturday, 3 March 2012

BMC Italy

With 12.5km to go Greg Van Avermaet of BMC puts in a big attack on one of the sterrato sections of the Strade Bianche race. He gets a gap on the others in the lead group but as the gradient bites Fabian Cancellara closes the gap. The Radioshack-Nissan rider is seated, turning the pedals smoothly.

Moments later Cancellara catches and then passes Van Avermaet in a style similar to the way the Swiss rider despatched Tom Boonen on the Kapelmuur in the 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Alone and in the lead Cancellara rides solo to Siena to take the win. This was the moment the result was decided, when Cancellara went on to win the race… and when Van Avermaet lost.

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 4:44:59
2 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:42
3 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia

4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:46
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:48
6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:01:03
7 Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:01:45
8 Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:01:47
9 Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia
10 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin – Barracuda 0:01:57
11 Daniele Bennati (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:58
12 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia – Coldeportes
13 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team
14 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
15 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
16 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:02
17 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Project 1T4i 0:07:50
18 Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
19 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin – Barracuda
20 Patxi Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Utensilnord Named
21 Wilson Alexander Marentes Torres (Col) Colombia – Coldeportes
22 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
23 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 – Sanofi
24 Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 – Sanofi
25 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team
26 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
27 Luca Ascani (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia
28 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin – Barracuda
29 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale
30 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
31 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team
32 Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia – Coldeportes
33 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
34 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia
35 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Barracuda
36 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre – ISD
37 Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia – Coldeportes
38 Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago – CSF Inox
39 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
40 Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago – CSF Inox
41 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
42 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre – ISD
43 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago – CSF Inox
44 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Team Type 1 – Sanofi
45 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan
46 Sergey Renev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
47 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
48 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
49 Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan
50 Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 – Sanofi
51 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan
52 Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

Chris March 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

No disputing the best rider I think.

Great race and good to get the live TV.

Bundle March 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Only 52 riders made it to the finish?

Dave March 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm

from Cyclingnews:“I hadn’t raced since Oman and today felt there was something missing: the race rhythm. I don’t know where my form is at the moment. It’s not 100 percent. I’m on the way to improving. That’s important. It’s important to stay relaxed.”

Can’t wait to see his form a month from now. Wish I could be that relaxed!!

Peter March 4, 2012 at 1:12 am

Gilbert: Deliberately relaxed or been eating too many ‘frites’ during winter?

Larry T. March 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

Bundle – based on what we saw on our visit in 2010, guys who are out of contention may ride directly into Siena rather than swing off the pavement out onto yet another section of dirt, so they’re not counted as official finishers.

David B March 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

As you say, the moment the race was won. My reading was that Van Avermaert was trying to set it up for Ballan. The plan was (presumably) that the other favorites would chase, Ballan would sit in and then counter. As it was, Ballan couldn’t hold Cancelleras wheel and Van A couldn’t stay with Cancellera either. On the run in, the chase was doing OK, it was just a shame Ballan missed a corner with 5k(ish) to go when the gap was still only 20secs – that cost the chasers another 20 or secs, and effectively meant game over.

Rick Chasey March 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

The man to beat come early April.

Innrng – have you also noticed that Canc is looking a fair bit skinnier than he has in recent years – as thin as he was for the worlds in Mendirsio – reflective of the tougher course in Flanders?

Or is this all in my head – a kind of Stockholm syndrome for a Boonen fan?

Adrian Holman March 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I’d be interested to know if Cancellara has ever been caught while leading (solo) in the last 15kms of any race.

CAT4Fodder March 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm

A couple of questions:

A) If Ballan actually took the left correctly, would they have caught? Did the chase group let up until Ballan caught back on? It would seem to me that at that point, the chase Group just keeps digging away and Van Avermaert rides for himself the remainder of the race.

B) Was the chase group poorly organized, or was that me? It never seemed that they were drilling it to catch Cancellara. I would have expected at that point, 1 minute pulls, as with 5 riders, 1 minute on, 4 minutes drafting is enough that they could have in my estimation picked up the pace. It seems as if no one was willing to go all out to catch him. Or was my read of this wrong?

C) At the end of the day, I am not sure there was a whole lot BMC could have done strategically (maybe send Van Avermaert earlier than they did?). Essentially, it just seemed to come down to horsepower, and if you cannot catch and stay on FC’s wheel, then the race is over. If you recall, FC’s move on P-R last year was negated only because Hushvod was able to stay on his wheel, hanging on for dear life. There are only a few riders capable of that, and clearly Ballan’s best years are behind him, and Van Avermeart spent himself on the attack.

Alex March 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Funny how some reactions across the web (not here) remind me of those after E3 Prijs last year. We’ll see where everyone is come Flanders and Roubaix.
I share the impression of a leaner Cancellara. I think he’ll be trying at Amstel again, so that may be a cause. Also, I’m noticing how calm and relaxed he is too. Maybe missing out on his big goals last year makes things easier for him.

J March 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

What i’ve seen was a Van Avermeart in great form being wasted, in this race and in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. BMC better start supporting him, Gilbert and Hushov are obviosly out of form now and Cadel Evans no one knows…

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