Team Astana Best Team in 2009 Giro d'Italia

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06/1/2009| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Team Astana Best Team in 2009 Giro d'Italia

Team Astana won the Team’s classification in the Giro d'Italia 2009. The team under the guidance of Johan Bruyneel, Alain Gallopin and Viatcheslav Ekimov had an advantage of 24 minutes and 15 seconds over Team Columbia-Highroad and 27 minutes and 17 seconds over Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni.

Team Astana won the Team’s classification in the Giro d'Italia 2009. The team under the guidance of Johan Bruyneel, Alain Gallopin and Viatcheslav Ekimov had an advantage of 24 minutes and 15 seconds over Team Columbia-Highroad and 27 minutes and 17 seconds over Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni.

Yaroslav Popovych finished 4th in the last stage, a 14.4 kilometer individual time trial in the historic centre of Rome, eleven seconds behind winner Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo TestTeam). In the final General Classification Levi Leipheimer finished 6th, 5.28 behind overall winner Denis Menchov. Lance Armstrong was 12th. The Team had another solid performance with four riders riders finishing in the top 20.  Chris Horner was the only Team Astana  rider who abandoned due to a fracture in the lateral tibia plateau of the left leg during a crash in stage 10. At that moment he was 11th in GC.

“I am not disappointed”, said Levi Leipheimer in Rome. “Over the three weeks, there were five guys a bit stronger than me. Basically I decided to do the Giro more out of preparation for the 2009 Tour de France.  I raced here against riders that were really targeting this race. What makes me happy is that I finished the Giro a lot stronger than last year and that we rode as a real team. Lance Armstrong proved to be a good domestique, but also Steve Morabito, Andrey Zeits, Jani Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Dani Navarro, Yaroslav Popovych and Chehu Rubiera gave me a ton of support. Of course I would have preferred to win a stage. In the historic time trial of Cinque Terre I was very close to it, but already there Denis Menchov was better. Today, I preferred not to take any risk.”

“Up to the Giro, Levi was undefeated this year”, said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. “He has to be pleased with this race and the season he has had so far. A three week Tour is very exhausting, especially on the mind.”

Lance Armstrong was more than happy with his 12th place in the overall GC. “I came in open minded. I did not know what to expect, obviously because of the crash in Castilla y León, the time off the bike and the trip over here. In my view it has been a hard three weeks. In the second half of the race I showed that I was certainly getting better and I think we can take that away from here. It is promising for June and July. I may have disappointed some fans and people in the pressroom  expecting that I immediately should start winning big races. That is crazy. I am almost 38 years old. Both of my feet are firmly on the ground. It’s taking a lot of work up to this point but we might ride strong and be in the front in July.”

“The style of racing in Italy is different, but I liked it,” continued Lance Armstrong. “Despite some  dangerous stages, it was a great race. The Giro del Centenario brought us to the most beautiful places

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