Matteo Pelucchi first in the Clasica de Almeria and Fabio Duarte second at the GP Lugano
27 February, 2011 - There's a happy buzz in the GEOX-TMC house. Today, Sunday February 27th, they are celebrating the first victory of the season.
The first prize arrives from Spain, where Matteo Pelucchi won the Clasica de Almeria. The young Italian sprinter beat Spain's José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), second, and Hollannd's Pim Lightart (Vacansoleil), third, over the finish line after a spectacular sprint that went down to a victory decided by a photo finish.
"I'm thrilled - says Pelucchi, born in 1989, about his first victory among the pros-. This for me is a beautiful day. Not only am I happy to celebrate my first victory as a pro, but I also am glad to have given to the team the first season win. This victory is the result of a job well done in this first part of the season. I came out of the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman in great shape - explains Pelucchi, who came in fourth in Oman in the last stage won by Mark Cavendish-. A big thanks to all my team mates; everyone worked really well for the entire day, and they set me up to give it my best in the great final sprint."
Fabio Duarte second at the GP Lugano behind Ivan Basso
There's some more good news on this extraordinary day for the GEOX-TMC colours. The young Colombian climber Fabio Duarte took second place on the Swiss roads of the GP Lugano. This is a significant result, almost a "half victory", considering that it was Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), king of the 2010 Giro d'Italia, who crossed the finish line first. It was Duarte who lit up the race, with an attack at about 7 km from the finish-line, on the last, 2km-long climb. The Colombian was launched by his great team mates David Blanco, Gianpaolo Cheula and Daniele Ratto. He made impressive progress that literally broke up the lead group, and only 2010 pink jersey Ivan Basso was able to keep up.
"I felt fantastic - says the Colombian, who was already under23 World Champion in Varese 2008-. And on the last climb, where my team mates did an excellent job, I decided to try the attack. Winning is always a nice feeling, but today I'm just as happy because I lost to a great champion like Basso, and especially because this result proves that I'm going through an awesome fitness phase and that our team can have an excellent season."
Attached are photos of Matteo Pelucchi's winning sprint and of Fabio Duarte on the Lugano podium with Ivan Basso and Giovanni Visconti (©bettiniphoto).
Clasica de Almeria (Spa)
1 Matteo Pelucchi (Geox TMC)
2 José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar)
3 Pim Lightart (Vacansoleil)
4 Christophe Laborie (Saur Sojasun)
5 Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC)
6 Aitor Galdos (Caja Rural)
7 Diego Milan (Caja Rural)
8 Robert Forster (UnitedHealthcare)
9 Michael Golas (Vacansoleil)
10 Juan José Lobato (Andalucía-Caja)
GP Lugano (Sui)
1 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:23:04
2 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMC
3 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 0:00:16
4 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
5 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo
7 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis
9 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10 David Blanco Rodriguez (Spa) Geox-TMC