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Steve Morabito climbed his way into the top five overall on Tuesday's stage. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Steve Morabito climbed his way into the top five overall on Tuesday's stage. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Volta a Catalunya, Stage 2: Morabito Into Fourth

20. March 2012

BMC Racing Team's Steve Morabito finished with the leading group of less than three dozen riders Tuesday to move into fourth place overall on the eve of the toughest stage at this year's Volta a Catalunya.

'Just Followed Wheels'
Morabito first made a split that happened after the feed zone, with less than 60 kilometers to go in the 161 km race. After the field regrouped, he was there to help Tejay van Garderen, who made a brief attack on the final climb. "I wasn't feeling that good, but I was positioned well, so I thought I might as well try an attack," van Garderen said. Morabito said he felt good up the Category 1 climb as well as on the twisting, narrow descent to the finish. "I just followed wheels and at the top of the climb I was maybe 100 meters from the front group," he said. "We came back very fast and some other guys came back. I have to give a lot of credit to Continental tires. It was good to have confidence on that final descent."

Hard Stage Ahead
Wednesday's 210 km stage features four categorized climbs and a mountain-top finish at Port-Ainé. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said the weather is also expected to be a factor. "We go to 2,000 meters elevation, so it might be snowing," he said. "Originally, we were here to help Tejay to do something, but now we'll help Morabito on what will be a very hard day." Michael Albasini (GreenEDGE Cycling Team) won his second straight stage to remain the overall leader, 1:32 ahead of Morabito. BMC Racing Team's Ivan Santaromita finished with the second group, 51 seconds later, and is the team's second-best placed rider overall (54th, 2:23 behind).