That forza feeling is back.
Things started slow for the Liquigas-Cannondale team at the US Pro Cycling Challenge. In the opening prologue, Liquigas mechanics frantically worked a hacksaw trying to fix Ivan Basso’s brand new Slice time trial bike. They failed and Basso finished 97th.
Later in the week, Basso would later injure his wrist in the same cattle guard crash that torn up the face of Team Type 1’s Daniele Callegarin.
Today on stage four, about 10 kilometers from the finish in Steamboat Springs, the Liquigas team decided to rectify things. All eight riders went to the front, swept up the five rider break and put the hammer down. As race announcer Dave Tolle shouted to the crowd, they “brought out the 20 pound sledgehammers.”
It was a tightly contested sprint but the lead-out from teammate Daniel Oss was perfect as young Italian Elia Vaniani blazed down the straightaway before a massive crowd that roared with excitement. Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank-Sungard) is disappointed with second and Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) is bummed with third.
Worse, UnitedHealthcare’s sprinter Rorbert Förster finished just off the podium after his teammates worked their lycra off to get him in position.
“Today the whole team worked all day for my sprint and in the last kilometres [Davide] Cimolai and [Daniel] Oss did a very, very good ride and perfect work for me,” said Viviani.
The lime green boys are back in business and they might now be finished. At the press conference, Viviani said he thinks tomorrow’s stage five finish in Breckenridge is ideal for Daniel Oss.
Liquigas will put the force behind forza.