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After half a season of struggle with the Quick Step team he joined this year, Italy's Filippo Pozzato finally recorded his first win of the season when he took Sunday's ProTour leg, the HEW Cyclassics Cup in Hamburg. Pozzato led in a 15-rider group, with team-mate Luca Paolini second and Liberty Seguros' Allan Davis third. Jan Ullrich was also in the group, but could do no better than 12th on a damp and rather cold day in northern Germany.
"Today the tables were turned," said Pozzato, referring to Paolini's success over him earlier this week in a stage of the Tour of the Walloon Regions. "But to be honest my success needs to be shared with the rest of our team and in particular with Paolini and [Bram] Tankink. I've done a lot of work over the past few weeks to get myself in top condition, even doing some intense altitude training in the mountains surrounding Livigno. At last it seems like all of my hard work is starting to pay off."
Paolini was pleased with his second place, especially as the only rider ahead of him was a team-mate. "I was feeling really good throughout the race, Pippo and I were riding the race in parallel and we were able to rely on the help of all of our team, especially Paolo Bettini, who did everything possible to keep himself as near to us as possible."
ProTour leader Danilo Di Luca returned to racing in Hamburg, but finished 52nd and did not score any points to add to his lead.
1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 250km in 6.00.59 (41.55kph)
2 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quick Step
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
4 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo
5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner
6 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak
7 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Caffita
8 Vladimir Goussev (Rus) CSC
9 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Fassa Bortolo
10 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak
11 Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) Domina Vacanze
12 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile
Pozzato comes good for Quick StepClose
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