Konovalovas Wins Final Stage of 2009 Giro d'Italia
Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo TestTeam) won stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia 2009 today in an exciting finish to the centenary Giro, which saw the maglia rosa leader Denis Menchov fall within the last kilometer on the wet paves near the finish line. Menchov was able to get back on his bike in timely fashion and complete the stage to win this year's edition of the Giro d'Italia. Bradley Wiggins (Garmin - Slipstream) was 1 second behind Konovalovas in today's stage and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia - Highroad) came in third seven seconds off the pace set by Konovalovas.
In the final overall rankings Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) retained his second place and Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) held onto his third place podium position. Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) finished in 4th place 1'47" down from Pellizotti.
"I had great motivation from the team and from Carlos", an elated Ignatas Konovalovas said, "Thomas Campana, who was in the car, was pushing me all the way. I am sure now I can say I couldn't do better."
"Fantastic!", Cervélo TestTeam sports director Jean-Paul Van Poppel said. "This is an exceptional team! I told the boys at the beginning of the Giro that maybe they don't realize that they think it is a normal situation but the more experienced riders know this is an exception. That there is something magic in this team. It is really beautiful."
"It was great to see young riders along with long time professionals perform so well on this team. It is a fantastic group and we work well as a team getting extremely good results from that team work. It makes us really successful. Not only the riders, also the staff, no exceptions. We have everything the best, the best material, the best staff on board, the best clothes. "I have not enough words for it. It is really fantastic, four stage wins, fourth in the GC." Van Poppel added.