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Davis wins Tour Down Under, Chicchi takes final stage

He chose not to sprint ? he didn’t have to ? but regardless, Allan Davis’ 33rd place behind stage winner Francesco Chicchi Sunday in Adelaide saw him crowned winner of the 2009 Tour Down Under. It’s been a monumental week for the bull terrier from Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, who, from this moment onwards, can definitively put the past behind him and move on to what many are predicting bigger and better things. “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride,” Davis told VeloNews, in reference to the past two seasons that saw his career in virtual limbo.

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Armstrong: “On track, if not ahead of schedule”

By Anthony Tan

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Chicci nails the sprint.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Chicci nails the sprint.

Photo: Graham Watson

He chose not to sprint ? he didn’t have to ? but regardless, Allan Davis’ 33rd place behind stage winner Francesco Chicchi Sunday in Adelaide saw him crowned winner of the 2009 Tour Down Under.

It’s been a monumental week for the bull terrier from Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, who, from this moment onwards, can definitively put the past behind him and move on to what many are predicting bigger and better things. “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride,” Davis told VeloNews, in reference to the past two seasons that saw his career in virtual limbo.

2009 Tour Down Under

Stage 6: Adelaide City Council Street Circuit, 81km


Winner: Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) wins 85-man sprint ahead of Robbie McEwen (Katusha) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank).
Final GC: Allan Davis (Quick Step), Stuart O’Grady (Saxo Bank), José Joaquin Rojas (Caisse d’Epargne).
Average speed of winner: 47.647 kph.
Sprints winner: Allan Davis (Quick Step), 30 points.
Mountains Winner: Markel Irizar (Euskatel-Euskadi), 54 points.
Best young rider (Under 25): José Joaquin Rojas (Caisse d’Epargne).
Final peloton: 122 riders.

“I’m not going to sit here and dwell about the past ? I’m just happy what’s happened this week, and happy about the future. I (now) want to achieve my goals more than ever, so that’s all I’m concentrating on now, completing all my goals that I had set at the start of my professional career,” said Davis, where March’s Milan-San Remo and the September world road championships remain two of his unfulfilled childhood dreams. “There’s a special spot in my heart for both events,” he said, having finished second and fifth in those, respectively.

Based on his maturity at 28-years-old and the form displayed at the Tour Down Under, the 2009 edition of La Classicissima may well be his to have.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: The finale in downtown Adelaide.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: The finale in downtown Adelaide.

Photo: Graham Watson

After 81 heart-racing kilometers Sunday ? the circuit race cut short to 18, 4.5-kilometer laps due to live television coverage requirements, and dominated by a 13-man break that was caught inside two laps to go ? the final sprint on Adelaide’s King William Road was not without controversy. The final 200 meters appeared to be a two-up drag race between Katusha’s Robbie McEwen and Rabobank’s Graeme Brown, but a tussle between the two that saw Brown pull his foot and left Liquigas’ Chicchi to profit from the mistake.

Said an angry McEwen: “They (the commissaries) think he clipped out of his pedal. But that’s not [what happened] ? he rode into my handlebar and he came out of his pedal.

“He (Brown) basically ruined my sprint ? I was passing him on the right, giving him a wide berth, and (Brown) decided he wanted to step into me. He’s hit my handlebars as I was coming past him, then came out of his pedal ? nearly brought us both down ? and it left Chicchi to win the stage, so it’s a bit disappointing,” McEwen said.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Davis was happy to finish in the field.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Davis was happy to finish in the field.

Photo: Graham Watson

Brown responded: “In fact he hit me ? he hit me in the shoe. “In the end, it wasn’t that bad because the commissaries didn’t do anything. This is just Robbie complaining because he didn’t win.

“If what he says about my riding style is true, why isn’t it in the commissaire’s report?” Brown added.

Apart from the previous Sunday’s Cancer Council Classic that he won, McEwen said he’s experienced a week of frustration. It’s in stark contrast to Davis of Quick Step ? who Lance Armstrong repeatedly described as “invincible” here ? and while the TDU may have finished with its sixth bunch sprint in as many days, because of or rather in spite of it, the race evolved into a highly tactical affair.

Davis, as André Greipel did last year, took full advantage of his fine form and finishing prowess to pry open his lead in the days leading to Saturday’s crucial smack-down on Old Willunga Hill. On that day in the historic McLaren Vale region, the Queenslander never panicked, limiting his losses on the three-kilometer, 7.5 per cent drag that was tackled twice, and rode within himself where he was surrounded by the warmth of his team-mates. He then used that loyalty to bridge back to the lead group, going as far as winning that stage too, and extended his lead to an unbeatable 25 seconds over Saxo Bank’s Stuart O’Grady and 30 seconds from José Joaquin Rojas of Caisse d’Epargne, which is how the final classification ended.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Davis is a popular TDU winner.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Davis is a popular TDU winner.

Photo: Graham Watson

Was there a point where Davis thought he may never reach the highest level again?

“No ? I knew it would all pass over,” he told VeloNews, “I just had to weather the storm.

“I had no doubt it’d pass over because I had nothing to do with the whole (Operación Puerto) saga. I just didn’t know how long it would take. It cost me a lot on the financial side of things… I’m not going to dwell on it; I’m trying to forget about it myself. But it’s made me a lot stronger than I was,” said Davis.

Armstrong back in business

Armstrong himself said he was feeling stronger than how he felt at the start of the week ? going as far as having a dig to bridge to a lead group of six with two laps remaining. And while the move came to nought, the 37-year-old said after a minor adjustment to the angle of his saddle, Sunday was the best he’d felt all week long.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Armstrong chats about his return.

Tour Down Under Stage 6: Armstrong chats about his return.

Photo: Graham Watson

“I can’t lie ? I felt pretty good today, so I thought I’d give it a go,” Armstrong said. “It helps when you have good legs. I actually felt the best today out of the entire week, so when you feel good, you have good legs, you gotta go for it, don’t you? It’s amazing when you get that seat angle right, it opens up the legs and (I) felt much better.”

What can only be described as an overwhelming reaction to his comeback ? crowd estimates for the week totaled 740,000; kick-starting his global cancer awareness campaign with construction of a A$34 million cancer research facility named in his honor; proven ability to recover well after consecutive days’ hard racing; a new baby on the way; and if he’s good enough, a crack at winning the Centenary Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Armstrong is back, and back in a big way.

“I’d say we’re on track, if not ahead of schedule,” Armstrong said. “(My form is) definitely advanced (compared to previous years) because we’re doing the Giro, so you got to consider it’s two months’ advance that (one needs to accelerate) your conditioning ? so the biggest fear is to try and figure out how June goes, and see if we can do the Giro, have a baby in June, and do the Tour in July.”

Photo Gallery

Results

2009 Tour Down Under

Stage 6: Adelaide City Council Street Circuit, 81km


Stage results: | (Final GC standings )
1. Francesco Chicchi (Ita), Liquigas, at 1:42:00 (47.647kph)
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Katusha, same time
3. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.
4. Gregory Henderson (NZl), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
5. José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
6. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
7. Willem Stroetinga (Ned), Milram, s.t.
8. Guillaume Blot (Fra), Cofidis, s.t.
9. Jacopo Guanieri (Ita), Liquigas, s.t.
10. Martin Elmiger (Swi), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
11. Chris Sutton (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
12. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Saxo Bank, s.t.
13. Mathieu Drujon (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
14. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita), Lampre-NGC, s.t.
15. Rony Martias (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
16. Mickaël Chérel (Fra), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
17. Iñaki Isasi Flores (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
18. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
19. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
20. Nikolay Trusov (Rus), Katusha, s.t.
21. Jonas Ljungblad (Swe), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
22. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, s.t.
23. Anders Lund (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
24. Julien El Farès (Fra), Cofidis, s.t.
25. Yoann Offredo (Fra), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
26. Matthew Goss (Aus), Saxo Bank, s.t.
27. Aleksandr Kuchynski (Blr), Liquigas, s.t.
28. Thomas Rohregger (Aut), Milram, s.t.
29. Mathieu Claude (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
30. Alexandre Pichot (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
31. Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
32. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
33. Allan Davis (Aus), Quick Step, s.t.
34. Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
35. Michael Rogers (Aus), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
36. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
37. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia-High Road, s.t.
38. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.
39. Hilton Clarke (Aus), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
40. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
41. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.
42. Simon Clarke (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.
43. Jens Voigt (Ger), Saxo Bank, s.t.
44. Nicolas Roche (Irl), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
45. Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
46. Sergio De Lis (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
47. Mario Aerts (Bel), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
48. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.
49. Jérémy Roy (Fra), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
50. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
51. Frank Hoj (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
52. Mathieu Perget (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
53. Julian Dean (NZl), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
54. Perrig Quemeneur (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
55. Christian Knees (Ger), Milram, s.t.
56. Trent Lowe (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
57. Ivan Dominquez (Cub), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
58. René Mandri (Est), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
59. Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Astana, s.t.
60. Vincent Jérôme (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
61. Claudio Corioni (Ita), Liquigas, s.t.
62. Christian Meier (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
63. Javier Megías Leal (Spa), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
64. Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
65. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel), Katusha, s.t.
66. Mickaël Buffaz (Fra), Cofidis, s.t.
67. Kenny De Haes (Bel), Katusha, s.t.
68. Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel), Quick Step, s.t.
69. Matthew Lloyd (Aus), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
70. Frederik Willems (Bel), Liquigas, s.t.
71. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, s.t.
72. Jesus Hernandez (Spa), Astana, s.t.
73. Nicki Sørensen (Den), Saxo Bank, s.t.
74. Martin Müller (Ger), Milram, s.t.
75. Glenn d’Hollander (Bel), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
76. Luca Barla (Ita), Milram, s.t.
77. Travis Meyer (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.
78. Ronny Scholz (Ger), Milram, s.t.
79. Sébastien Hinault (Fra), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
80. Scott Davis (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.
81. Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukr), Lampre-NGC, s.t.
82. Stef Clement (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.
83. Timmy Duggan (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
84. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
85. Laurent Lefèvre (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
86. Davide Malacarne (Ita), Quick Step, at 0:14
87. Francesco Reda (Ita), Quick Step, at 0:14
88. Matteo Tosatto (Ita), Quick Step, at 0:14
89. Markus Eichler (Ger), Milram, at 0:14
90. Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa), Katusha, at 0:14
91. Andrea Grendene (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 0:14
92. Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 0:24
93. Florent Brard (Fra), Cofidis, at 0:24
94. José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa), Astana, at 0:24
95. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:24
96. Pablo Urtasun (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:24
97. Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Liquigas, at 0:24
98. Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:24
99. Vitaliy Buts (Ukr), Lampre-NGC, at 0:24
100. Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz), Astana, at 0:24
101. Serguei Klimov (Rus), Katusha, at 0:24
102. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:24
103. David Moncoutié (Fra), Cofidis, at 0:24
104. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:24
105. Gianni Da Ros (Ita), Liquigas, at 0:24
106. Jos Van Emden (Ned), Rabobank, at 0:24
107. Matthieu Sprick (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 0:24
108. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre-NGC, at 0:29
109. Jack Bobridge (Aus), Uni SA, at 0:29
110. Rick Flens (Ned), Rabobank, at 0:37
111. Andoni Lafuente (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:38
112. Adam Hansen (Aus), Columbia-High Road, at 0:57
113. Matteo Bono (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 0:58
114. Tom Stubbe (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 1:49
115. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 1:50
116. Cameron Meyer (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 2:04
117. Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Columbia-High Road, at 2:04
118. Davide Viganò (Ita), Fuji-Servetto, at 2:20
119. Emanuele Bindi (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 3:15
120. Dries Devenyns (Bel), Quick Step, at 3:28
121. Hubert Schwab (Swi), Quick Step, at 3:28
122. Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:28


Final GC standings | ( Stage results )


1. Allan Davis (Aus), Quick Step, at 19:26:59
2. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Saxo Bank, at 0:25
3. José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:30
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:30
5. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus), Française Des Jeux, at 0:37
6. Michael Rogers (Aus), Columbia-High Road, at 0:38
7. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Uni SA, at 0:39
8. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 0:40
9. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin), Française Des Jeux, at 0:40
10. Mickaël Chérel (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 0:40
11. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:40
12. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:40
13. George Hincapie (USA), Columbia-High Road, at 0:40
14. Nicolas Roche (Irl), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:44
15. Mathieu Perget (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:44
16. Matthew Lloyd (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 0:44
17. Jens Voigt (Ger), Saxo Bank, at 0:45
18. Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:46
19. Thomas Rohregger (Aut), Milram, at 0:49
20. Jérémy Roy (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 0:49
21. Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:49
22. Aleksandr Kuchynski (Blr), Liquigas, at 0:49
23. Simon Clarke (Aus), Uni SA, at 0:49
24. Javier Megías Leal (Spa), Fuji-Servetto, at 0:49
25. Christian Meier (Can), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:49
26. Trent Lowe (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:49
27. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:49
28. Jesus Hernandez (Spa), Astana, at 0:49
29. Lance Armstrong (USA), Astana, at 0:49
30. Perrig Quemeneur (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 1:41
31. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, at 2:04
32. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, at 2:34
33. Christian Knees (Ger), Milram, at 2:38
34. Vincent Jérôme (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 2:38
35. Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa), Caisse d’Epargne, at 2:39
36. Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 2:43
37. Sébastien Hinault (Fra), AG2R La Mondiale, at 2:43
38. David Moncoutié (Fra), Cofidis, at 2:53
39. Francesco Reda (Ita), Quick Step, at 3:00
40. Alexandre Pichot (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 3:23
41. Glenn d’Hollander (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 3:29
42. Matteo Tosatto (Ita), Quick Step, at 3:32
43. Alexander Efimkin (Rus), AG2R La Mondiale, at 3:54
44. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 3:54
45. Adam Hansen (Aus), Columbia-High Road, at 5:12
46. Frederik Willems (Bel), Liquigas, at 5:35
47. Anders Lund (Den), Saxo Bank, at 7:49
48. Tom Leezer (Ned), Rabobank, at 11:34
49. Tom Stubbe (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 15:00
50. Dries Devenyns (Bel), Quick Step, at 18:42
51. Mathieu Drujon (Fra), Caisse d’Epargne, at 19:50
52. Matthew Goss (Aus), Saxo Bank, at 20:55
53. Julien El Farès (Fra), Cofidis, at 22:38
54. Mario Aerts (Bel), Silence-Lotto
55. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), AG2R La Mondiale, at 23:45
56. Laurent Lefèvre (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 24:00
57. Mickaël Buffaz (Fra), Cofidis, at 24:23
58. José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa), Astana, at 24:24
59. Iñaki Isasi Flores (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 24:27
60. Yoann Offredo (Fra), Française Des Jeux, at 24:32
61. Nicki Sørensen (Den), Saxo Bank, at 24:33
62. Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda), AG2R La Mondiale, at 24:44
63. René Mandri (Est), AG2R La Mondiale, at 25:05
64. Rick Flens (Ned), Rabobank, at 25:08
65. Jack Bobridge (Aus), Uni SA, at 25:20
66. Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Liquigas, at 25:43
67. Stef Clement (Ned), Rabobank, at 26:09
68. Matteo Bono (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 26:11
69. Serguei Klimov (Rus), Katusha, at 27:24
70. Davide Malacarne (Ita), Quick Step, at 27:39
71. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel), Katusha, at 29:27
72. Gregory Henderson (NZl), Columbia-High Road, at 29:57
73. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre-NGC, at 30:01
74. Cameron Meyer (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 30:18
75. Martin Müller (Ger), Milram, at 30:25
76. Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz), Astana, at 30:29
77. Travis Meyer (Aus), Uni SA, at 31:15
78. Jos Van Emden (Ned), Rabobank, at 31:37
79. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Katusha, at 34:29
80. Davide Viganò (Ita), Fuji-Servetto, at 35:09
81. Hilton Clarke (Aus), Fuji-Servetto, at 35:33
82. Luca Barla (Ita), Milram, at 36:00
83. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Cofidis, at 36:35
84. Rony Martias (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 36:35
85. Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 36:59
86. Ronny Scholz (Ger), Milram, at 37:33
87. Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel), Quick Step, at 37:36
88. Frank Hoj (Den), Saxo Bank, at 38:11
89. Matthieu Sprick (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 38:52
90. Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa), Katusha, at 39:16
91. Timmy Duggan (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 39:17
92. Nikolay Trusov (Rus), Katusha, at 40:15
93. Hubert Schwab (Swi), Quick Step, at 40:38
94. Vitaliy Buts (Ukr), Lampre-NGC, at 41:05
95. Rein Taaramae (Est), Cofidis, at 41:07
96. Claudio Corioni (Ita), Liquigas, at 41:18
97. Gianni Da Ros (Ita), Liquigas, at 41:45
98. Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Astana, at 42:32
99. Jacopo Guanieri (Ita), Liquigas, at 43:22
100. Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukr), Lampre-NGC, at 43:36
101. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Columbia-High Road, at 43:43
102. Andrea Grendene (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 44:12
103. Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Silence-Lotto, at 44:49
104. Emanuele Bindi (Ita), Lampre-NGC, at 46:20
105. Jonas Ljungblad (Swe), Silence-Lotto, at 46:37
106. Chris Sutton (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 48:03
107. Scott Davis (Aus), Uni SA, at 48:04
108. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Uni SA, at 50:13
109. Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 50:59
110. Francesco Chicchi (Ita), Liquigas, at 53:29
111. Julian Dean (NZl), Garmin-Slipstream, at 53:39
112. Willem Stroetinga (Ned), Milram, at 54:33
113. Kenny De Haes (Bel), Katusha, at 55:01
114. Markus Eichler (Ger), Milram, at 56:13
115. Guillaume Blot (Fra), Cofidis, at 58:51
116. Florent Brard (Fra), Cofidis, at 59:44
117. Mathieu Claude (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 1:01:26
118. Sergio De Lis (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:02:22
119. Pablo Urtasun (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:02:46
120. Andoni Lafuente (Spa), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:02:50
121. Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Columbia-High Road, at 1:04:26
122. Ivan Dominquez (Cub), Fuji-Servetto, at 1:23:14