Bar­diani re­main fo­cused amid prob­lems, says An­dreetta

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TERME LUIGIANE: Ital­ian Si­mone An­dreetta said his em­bat­tled Bar­diani team are fo­cused on cap­ping their con­tro­versy-hit Giro d’Italia with a stage win af­ter he fin­ished fourth in a sixth stage thriller on Thurs­day.

Sec­ond divi­sion Bar­diani, in­vited as one of four ‘wild­card’ en­tries to the 100th edi­tion of the race, were rocked a day be­fore the start when Ste­fano Pi­razzi and Ni­cola Ruf­foni were thrown out af­ter fail­ing out-of-com­pe­ti­tion tests for growth hor­mones.

They were sent home pend­ing the re­sults of a ‘B’ sam­ple that could lead to their sack­ing af­ter the race fin­ishes in Mi­lan on May 28.

But An­dreetta said Bar­diani are keen to make amends, af­ter he fin­ished fourth on a dra­matic sixth stage from Reg­gio di Cal­abria to Terme Luigiane that saw Switzer­land’s Sil­van Dil­lier, of BMC, pre­vail.

“We showed that, de­spite the shock at the start of the Giro, we’re re­act­ing. We’re a very close group,” said An­dreetta, who was part of a five-man break­away that out­foxed the chas­ing pelo­ton.

“We’ll try again, for sure.” An­dreetta, rac­ing his maiden Giro d’Italia, saw his own bid peter out six kilo­me­tres from the fin­ish when he failed to re­spond to an at­tack by Trek’s Jasper Stuyven, who fin­ished sec­ond.

The Bel­gian later ex­plained: “He (An­dreetta) wasn’t do­ing a lot of work with us, so it was best to get rid of him in case he’d kept his en­ergy for the fin­ish.”

The 23-year-old Ital­ian, how­ever, pushed hard to keep the chas­ing pelo­ton at bay by 13 sec­onds, fin­ish­ing fourth to seal Bar­diani’s best fin­ish of the 100th edi­tion.

“I’m ex­hausted, but sat­is­fied be­cause I gave it my all,” he said.

Italy have yet to win a stage, but An­dreetta added: “Per­son­ally I feel good, but we’re all re­ally mo­ti­vated to try and win a stage at this race.” AFP

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