Scarponi's Tirreno mountain stage win timed to perfection

Tirreno Adriatico 2010 logo

With Michele Scarponi's win at Tirreno-Adriatico today in Chieti, Italy, Team Androni has put in its response to what must be the wavering of RCS Sport.

"The win would have come either way because I had good feelings," Scarponi explained, not wanting the positive EPO test of Massimo Giunti to spoil his day. "Uncertainly for one rider, all of use has to pay the fine."

The UCI announced the morning Tirreno-Adriatico started that Scarponi's team-mate Massimo Giunti tested positive for EPO. The result came thanks to UCI's blood passport system.

RCS Sport, organiser of Tirreno-Adriatico, is due to announce the teams invited to the Giro d'Italia in a few days time. In the past, it has excluded teams from racing due to their riders testing positive (Fuji-Servetto in 2009, Acqua & Sapone in 2008).

"We are calm and we have faith to be invited to the Giro, but I'd rather wait to see the invitations before guessing about it," Team Manager Gianni Savio told Cycling Weekly. "I think we clearly merit an invitation. Last year, we had 33 wins and three of those were at the Giro d'Italia."

Savio signed Scarponi after he served a suspension for the 2006 doping investigation, Operación Puerto. Scarponi took two wins last year for Androni at the Giro d'Italia, similar to how he won today's 243-kilometre stage from San Gemini to Chieti - attacking.

He fired midway up the four kilometre closing climb with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo), Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox). Nibali attacked twice, but Scarponi timed his response perfectly. He took advantage of the steepest section, 19 percent, to accelerate ahead, picking up the last of the early escapees, Vasil Kiryienka (Caisse d'Epargne).

Scarponi faces another big mountain day tomorrow in order to keep the blue race leader's jersey that he won today.

"Tomorrow, we will have to ride tactically different, defending," said Scarponi. "I am a good climber, for sure, but tomorrow is all downhill."

The fifth stage ramps up to 1,535 metres, the Forca di Presta, and then heads down to its finish in Colmurano. Scarponi was joking, though, because on the way to Colmurano the parcours look like a saw blade with five different climbs.


Tirreno-Adriatico 2010, stage four: San Gemini-Chieti 243km

1. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli

2. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 14secs

3. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at same time

Overall classification after stage four

1. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli

2. Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 18secs

3. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli at 20secs

Related links

Stage three: Bennati crowns a great day for LiquigasStage two: Boonen wins sprint and becomes San Remo favourite

Stage one: Gerdemann is back, and with good timingFarrar watching Cavendish ahead of Milan-San Remo

Cavendish getting better but still not that confident


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