Cancellara takes Monte Paschi Eroica - Ballan second

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08.03.2008/ Team CSC's Fabian Cancellara won todays Italian one-day race Monte Paschi Eroica. Lampre's Alessandro Ballan came in second and Linus Gerdemann (Team High Road) came in third. The race took place for professionals for the first time last year, where Team CSC took a double win with Alexandr Kolobnev and Marcus Ljungquist.

© Team Lampre
Alessandro Ballan and Fabian Cancellara on the attack... (© Team Lampre)

Cancellara managed a great follow up on last year's triumph by beating Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) in the sprint on the legendary Piazza del Campo in Siena.

The 181-kilometer race from Gaiole in Chianti to Siena has become somewhat of an institution within Italian cycling sport after having been held as a pure recreational race for a number of years. 56 kilometers of the route is on old steep graveled roads in the Chianti Region in the Southern part of Tuscany.

So far Team CSC has dominated the professional edition of the race and with the victory today Cancellara yet again managed to underline the fact that he is more than ready for the oncoming classics in Northern Europe.

”It was a great victory for both me and the team, because there's no doubt that this is a very unique race. I wasn't feeling all that great to begin with, but once the sprint opened up my legs were cooperating just fine. In the finale I was able to make a difference, which tells me that I'm on the right track ahead of the classics,” explained a happy Fabian Cancellara following his second victory this year.

Cancellara split the favorite's group shortly before the last graveled stretch and only Alessandro Ballan was able to keep up. The two classics specialists managed to build up a small lead and during the last kilometers Cancellara left nothing to chance and ended up winning the sprint comfortably in Siena.

”Everything turned out perfectly for us today. We had Anders Lund and Matti Breschel in the long break and they both delivered a great effort out there. Fabian showed tremendous strength at the end and won a brilliant victory. It's a really tough race and it definitely has the potential to become one of cycling sport's all-time greats. It was a good sign for us to have one of our biggest classics profiles at the top of the podium,” said CSC sports director Lars Michaelsen after the race.

"The team raced in a very good way, said Fabrizio Bontempi, Lampre's sports director. Bontempi contiuned by saying: "In the main breakaway there were Murro and Santambrogio, while in the bunch all the other blue-fucsia athletes were controlling the situation. When the breakaway expired, Ballan attacked on the last climb (picture) and he dropped his opponents. Only Cancellara could follow him. We're sorry for the missed victory, but of course we're satisfied about Ballan's shape."

Alessandro Ballan was satisfied: "Eroica is a race I like, a victory would have been beautiful: unfortunately Cancellara was too strong. My compliments to the team for the perfect support. I'm happy because my shape is quite good and it will increase day by day."

Cancellara takes Monte Paschi Eroica - Ballan second

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Race reports

Results Monte Paschi Eroica 2008
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC                                     4.34.41 (39.536 km/h)
2 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - Fondital                                  
3 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team High Road                                    0.15
4 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30                
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld                                               
6 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Barloworld                                          
7 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli      
8 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road                                       
9 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                                0.38
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30                 
11 Giairo Ermeti (Ita) LPR Brakes                                            
12 Borghini Longo (Ita) Barloworld                                           
13 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld                                       
14 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas                                          1.10
15 Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) LPR Brakes                                      
16 Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30                   
17 Ángel Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott                                   
18 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC                                          
19 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team High Road                                        
20 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli        
21 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                         
22 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone                    
23 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval - Scott                            
24 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas                                            
25 Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC                                             
26 Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                     1.50
27 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram                                              
28 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - Fondital                                
29 Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC                                                
30 Florent Brard (Fra) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone                     
31 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                                   
32 Julien Loubet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale                                      
33 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas                                             
34 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC                                             
35 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30             
36 Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Group Navigare                                   
37 Tiziano dall'Antonia (Ita) CSF Group Navigare                             
38 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quick Step                                        
39 Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli   
40 Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) CSF Group Navigare                        
41 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Barloworld                                    2.20
42 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step                                           4.10
43 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r-La Mondiale                                     
44 Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems                             
45 Matteo Priamo (Ita) CSF Group Navigare                                 5.20
46 Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) CSF Group Navigare                      
47 Christian Murro (Ita) Lampre - Fondital                                   
48 Jure Golcer (Slo) LPR Brakes                                              
49 Stéphane Augé (Fra) Cofidis                                               
50 Kilian Patour (Fra) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30                  
51 Giampaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld                                         
52 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas                                           
53 Bert Grabsch (Ger) High Road                                           7.15
54 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) High Road                                       
55 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                              8.20
56 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval - Scott                               
57 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval - Scott                           
58 Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) LPR Brakes                                        
59 Paolo Bailetti (Ita) LPR Brakes                                           
60 Lars Bak (Den) Team CSC                                                9.30
61 William Frischkorn (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented By H30             
62 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Team Milram                                      10.00
63 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step

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