Erik Zabel sprints to his first season win in Valenciana

MILRAM’s  Alberto Ongarato also in the Top Ten

 27 February 2008 –  Erik Zabel, captain of the German ProTour team MILRAM won the second stage of the Volta a Valenciana (26.2-1.3/UCI 2.2).   The 178 km stage from Alzir to Xativa ended in  a mass sprint, giving the 37 year-old his first victory of the young season.  Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre) and Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) took second and third
places.  MILRAM’s Albert Ongarato finished in eighth place, to top off the team’s good results.

„That was a very challenging final sprint, since it went uphill to the finish line and was pretty narrow,“ said MILRAM captain Erik Zabel. „So I am very happy with my first season victory.  As a team we worked very well today, especially in the last 20 km, when we forced the tempo and set up the mass sprint.“

A three-man escape group of Juan Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Gustavo Cesar (Karpin Ga) and Timothy Duggan (Slipstream-Chipotle) stayed away for much of the second stage of the Volta a Valenciana, which featured five Category 3 ranked climbs.  They held an advantage of up to 3:30 minutes before MILRAM took the initiative some 25 km before the finish and picked up the tempo on the final climb up the Alt de Beniganim.

The peloton followed, absorbed the escapees about 12 km before the finish, and then it came down to the mass sprint.

The Stages 2008:

26.02. 1st Stage: Sagunto – Port de Sagunto (157 km)

27.02. 2d Stage: Alzira – Xativa (178 km)

28.02. 3d Stage: Ibi – Ibi (166,5 km)

29.02. 4th Stage:  Naquera – Naquera (175,6 km)

01.03. 5th Stage: Valencia – Valencia (149,5 km)

Total length  826,6 km

Team MILRAM line-up: Erik Zabel (GER), Alessandro Petacchi (ITA), Alberto Ongarato (ITA), Brett Lancaster (AUS), Christian Knees (GER), Igor Astarloa (ESP), Marco Velo (ITA), Volodymyr Diudia (UKR)

Directeurs Sportif:  Antonio Bevilacqua (ITA), Raoul Liebregts (NED)

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