Kirchen takes Laigueglia

Fassa Bortolo's Kim Kirchen gets a pre-Classics boost with victory in the Trofeo Laigueglia, but the

Fassa Bortolo's Kim Kirchen gets a pre-Classics boost with victory in the Trofeo Laigueglia, but the
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Fassa Bortolo's Kim Kirchen won the 42nd edition of the Laigueglia Trophy, beating Liquigas' Franco Pellizotti and Panaria's Paolo Tiralongo in the final sprint after being led out by team-mate Dario Frigo. Kirchen, who rode well at the Tour of the Med last week, will be one of his team's main prospects for the spring Classics. The decisive break was instigated by Pellizotti, who said afterwards that he was hampered in the sprint by not being able to use his 11 sprocket. "It's a shame because the team worked really well and I just keep getting places," he said. After the withdrawal from the race of defending champion Filippo Pozzato because of flu, a number of other big names did not fare well. Igor Astarloa was not allowed to start after it was judged that his entry paperwork was not in order, while Quick Step's Luca Paolini and Domina Vacanze's Mirko Celestino both crashed, although without serious injury. Paolo Bettini finished nine minutes down. A note too about another strong ride by procycling Fab 4 member Thomas Lovkvist. After taking fifth place at the Tour of the Med last week, the Swede who is featured in this month's issue of procycling was eighth in Laigueglia. 1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo 183km in 4.50.00 (37.92kph) 2 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 3 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Panaria 4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 5 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0.37 6 Michele Gobbi (Ita) Domina Vacanze 7 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Fassa Bortolo 8 Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) La Franaise des Jeux 9 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) LPR 0.51 10 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Saunier Duval
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