The first stage of Settimana Ciclista Lombarda, a team time trial, was won by LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini and the leader of the race is Alessandro Petacchi, who crossed the finish line in first place. Last year LPR Brakes dominated this year as they took all three spots of the overall podium, with Danilo Di Luca taking the overall title.
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team finished 13th. Sergey Lagutin seems to injure or ill. He lost time in the team time trial, and honestly, I don't think that has ever happened before. He is usually not the type of rider who lose contact with his team in team time trials, even though he is certainly not a time trial specialist. I would like to know what has happened, but it's true, he probably crashed during the Critérium International. I am worried about him.
KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde's first stage was won by Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), just three days after winning the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. Today he easily won the downhill two-up sprint ahead of Frederik Willems (Liquigas) and he took the lead in the overall classification.
"The victory on Saturday certainly has given me morale."
But he may not give it all in the time trial, just to win the overall. Surely it depends on how far ahead of the rest of the riders he is. He is not a time trial specialist either, so defending the overall may be difficult in some situations.
"If I have the lead, I will try to defend it, but if I don't have the jersey, I won't go for it in the time trial."
Tour of Flanders is also more important than the De Panne race, so he may not do everything just to keep the lead either.
"This is De Panne, but Sunday is really important for me."
Frederik Willems tried to win the race and took the initiative in the end of the race, but Pozzato is a great sprinter.
"I tried to accelerate with about 200m to go, in the turn, but he [Pozzato] was too strong and too fast. I knew I was beaten right away...
"I was in the front, but Pozzato is like a derny at the moment."
He was proud of his race though and did not regret anything.
"In the beginning I was in the [Tom] Boonen group and too far back. I knew I had to get to the front group, as Boonen and [Kevin] van Impe were the only ones driving. They came close, but not really fast enough, so I jumped."