Team MILRAM finished in the Top Ten in the opening stage team time trial of the 92nd Giro d’Italia. The German ProTour team finished in tenth place with a time of 22:39, the same time as the Cervelo TestTeam, in the first stage of the 100th anniversary Giro. The fastest team over the 20,5 kilometer long course with start and finish in Venice was Team Columbia, with a time of 21:50 minutes.
Second-fastest, six seconds back, was the US-based team Garmin-Slipstream, with Team Astana third, 13 seconds down. Briton Mark Cavendish (Columbia) took the pink jersey of the overall leader in the comfortable 23? weather.
"Although we knew that it would be hard, our goal was to finish in the Top Ten," said Ralf Grabsch, who, together with Vittorio Algeri is leading the team in Italy. "We put in a great performance and rode very concentratedly and disciplined. This opener was very important for our riders, especially for the next few days. It gives us self-confidence and we will continue to build on this performance."
Thomas Fothen sprints to eleventh place in Stage 2
Thomas Fothen was the best MILRAM rider in the second stage of the 92nd Giro d’Italia (May 9-31/UCI Category HIS), sprinting to an eleventh place finish. The finale was very bad for MILRAM’s Matthias Ru?, who was taken to a local hospital with a broken collarbone, thus ending his Giro. The fastest rider of the day in a mass sprint after 156 kilometers from Jesolo to Trieste was Alessandro Petacchi (LPR). The Italian beat Mark Cavendish (Columbia) and Ben Swift of Team Katusha. Briton Cavendish was able to defend his overall lead with his second-place finish.
"In the finale, I was at first on Mark Cavendish’s rear wheel, but it was pretty tight in the last curve and unfortunately I had to slow down," said MILRAM’s Thomas Fothen. "That made me late coming to the finish straightaway. I tried again to make the best of it. Too bad that I didn’t get a Top Ten finish in the end. We all wish Matthias R?? that he get well soon, and hope that he is back on his feet soon."
The second stage was long dominated by Italian Leonardo Scarselli (ISD), who got away from the field as a soloist at km nine. On a sunny, 23? day, the 34-year-old stayed away much of the stage, building up a lead of up to eight minutes. But with 80 km to go, the teams who were looking for a mass sprint finish, especially Team Columbia and Mark Cavendish, started seriously to give chase. The Italian was able to start the first of three laps of a closing circuit with a three minute lead, but was caught again with 30 km to go.
While Thomas Voekler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Andrey Grivko (ISD) attacked from the front of the field, Team MILRAM had a moment of horror on the next to last lap of the closing circuit. Matthias Ru? crashed on the descent of the Montebello over a loose manhole cover and had to be taken to a local hosptial with a broken collarbone. That ended the Giro 2009 for the 25-year-old on only the second stage. The attack by Voekler and the ex-MILRAM rider Grivko was quickly ended by the peloton, setting up the mass sprint.
Website: Team Milram