Gazvoda in Breakaway; Butler Finishes in Lead Group
Vetriolo Terme, Italy - Champion System Pro Cycling Team's Gregor Gazvoda was part of a five-man breakaway while teammate Chris Butler finished 13th among the elite front group on Wednesday's mountain-top finish at Stage 2 of the Giro del Trentino.
General Manager Ed Beamon said he knew it would be to the team's advantage if it placed a rider in the break on the 224.8-kilometer stage that featured two categorized climbs.
Forty kilometers into the stage, Gazvoda attacked. Four riders followed and the escapees built a lead of nearly six-and-a-half minutes. As they headed up the first categorized climb, the group splintered with Filippo Savini (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest) taking the lead. Gazvoda fought hard to match the Italian's pace and was runner-up over the summit.
"It was important to show the team is willing to race and be part of the action," Gazvoda said. "I knew it was going to be a long effort, but I was happy to have that chance."
The chasing peloton reeled in the break on the final climb up to Vertriolo Terme. As the tempo surged, an elite group of riders emerged. Butler made this front group along with overall contenders Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), Bradley Wiggins (Sky Procycling) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team). While the American did not have the legs to follow the big attacks, he was able to keep the leaders in his sights. Numerous riders tried to break free, but it was Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky Procycling) who soloed to the win. Butler finished 66 seconds behind.
"I struggled a bit during the approach, but once the elite group formed, I really felt comfortable," Butler said. "The pace was not easy, but I always felt within my limit."
"Butler really had a great ride," Beamon said. "It was a really solid ride and shows how much work he has done in the last nine months to improve on his weaknesses."
The time gaps shuffled the general classification, with the winner of the Stage 1a, Maxime Bouet (AG2R-La Mondiale), moving back into the leader's jersey. Butler is Champion System's best-placed rider in 23rd, 6:17 behind.
With two more mountain stages remaining, Butler said he is eager to keep racing.
"I'm pretty satisfied with my performance today," Butler said. "I'm really looking forward to Friday's finish."