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4th Giro della Liguria - 2.3

Italy, February 13-15, 2004

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Stage 3 - February 15: Mignanego-Arenzano, 133 km

Pozzato wins finale

Italian Filippo Pozzato has claimed victory in the final stage of the Giro di Liguria in Arenzano. The Fassa Bortolo rider won a bunch sprint ahead of Crescenzo D'Amore and Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone).

"I'm obviously very happy for this first win," said Pozzato. "But I'm not as brilliant as I'd like. I can see it on the climbs. The team, especially Petito and Flecha, did a very good job, even if they let me alone a little bit too soon. I kept focused: I let my rivals take the lead and then I moved and won. I hope to improve for Milano-Sanremo."

The 133 km stage started in Mignanego with all riders observing a minute's silence for Marco Pantani, who had passed away the previous night. The peloton was fairly subdued when the race got under way, and it wasn't until km 41 when the first attack was made by Tim Jones (Domina Vacanze). The Zimbabwean rider was joined by Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), Juan Manuel Garate (Lampre), Balazs Rothmer (Miche) and Iñigo Cuesta Lopez (Cofidis) to form a group of five, which was caught after 52 km.

At the 68 km mark, another Domina Vacanze rider, Alexandre Kolobnev, tried his luck. He managed to gain a 2'20 lead by kilometre 82, but was recaptured in Serra Ricco (km 95). As soon as he was caught, Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo), Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio-Bianchi), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) escaped and formed a threatening quartet in front of the race. But the peloton wouldn't let them get more than 15" lead, then they were caught at 25 km to go. Lorenzo Bernucci tried attacking again but was swept up with 5 km to go. The resulting bunch sprint saw Filippo Pozzato score a narrow victory over Crescenzo D'Amore.


Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti


1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                    3.33.50 (37.543 km/h)
2 Crescenzo D'Amore (Ita) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo
3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo
4 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Lampre
5 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Lotto-Domo
6 Michael Skelde (Den) Alessio-Bianchi
7 Mykhailo Khalilov (Ukr) Team Icet Electronics
8 Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators
9 Francesco Cipolletta (Ita) Team Icet Electronics
10 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Domina Vacanze