Colombian Fabio Duarte (Geox-TMC) grabbed his first European pro win of the season in the third stage at the Giro del Trentino on Thursday in northern Italy.
The former U23 world champion attacked with 400 meters to go in the 170km third stage to nip Tiago Machado (RadioShack) to claim the stage. Michele Scarponi (Lampre) crossed the line third at three seconds adrift to confirm his grip on the leader’s jersey with one stage to go. Scarponi leads Machado by seven seconds, with Luca Ascanita climbing into third at 33 seconds back.
Duarte said he paid attention on the first of two climbs up the finale during the stage to figure out just where he had to drop the hammer to make a run for a trip to the winner’s podium.
“I felt good during the stage and I could maintain the rhythm with the leaders,” Duarte said after the stage. “We climbed the Paganella climb once earlier in the stage and I took the opportunity to really study the finale. I studied the final two kilometers and realized that the best place to attack would be in the final 400 meters at the steepest part of the climb. On the second passage, that’s where I attacked and it proved to be just the right place.”
Duarte has been getting close to a win all season, with second at the GP Lugano and fifth overall at the Vuelta a Murcia. He was stymied in attacks at the Tour of the Basque Country, but finally got it right in Trentino. Duarte will make his debut at the Giro d’Italia next month, where he will be riding to help team captain Denis Menchov, but he will likely have his opportunities as well in select stages.
“I am really happy to win,” Duarte said. “I always try to give the maximum in every race I start. I’ve been close to winning a few times this year, so this time I finally managed to get my first win of the season. This victory is important for me, but also for the team, and it gives us a nice boost of motivation going into the Giro.”
Scarponi, meanwhile, didn’t take the stage sitting down. He counter-attacked, and though he failed to win the stage, secured his lead going into Friday’s final stage.
“By attacking, Michele was in danger, but by doing so, he reduced the number of opponents in the lead group,” said sport director Valerio Tebaldi. “The team worked well for the entire stage and Scarponi wanted to try to repay his teammates with the win, but in the end, Duarte and Machado were faster. Now we focus on the final stage, but it’s apparently easier than what we faced today. We cannot let it surprise us.”
The race concludes Friday with the 161.5km fourth stage from Andalo to Madonna di Campiglio. The three-climb stage ends atop the 14km Campiglio climb, but Scarponi is looking good to be able to hang on for the overall crown.
- 1. Fabio Andres DUARTE AREVALO, (COL) Geox-TMC, in 4:41:05
- 2. Tiago MACHADO, (POR) Team RadioShack, at 0
- 3. Michele SCARPONI, (ITA) Lampre-Farnese Vini, at 3
- 4. Steve MORABITO, (SUI) BMC Racing Team, at 3
- 5. Robert KISERLOVSKI, (CRO) Astana, at 3
- 1. Michele SCARPONI, (Italy) Lampre-Farnese Vini, in 9:44:40
- 2. Tiago MACHADO, (Portugal) Team RadioShack, at 7
- 3. Luca ASCANI, (Italy), at 33
- 4. Steve MORABITO, (Switzerland) BMC Racing Team, at 34
- 5. Domenico POZZOVIVO, (Italy) Colnago-CSF, at 35