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“I, personally, felt in top shape and that gives me great confidence for the next races and my personal goal, which is to help the team. I am already focused on the work I have to do this week."

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo
01.03.2015 @ 21:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Swiss one-day race GP Lugano was settled after a sprint finish in a decimated front group. Despite numerous attacks from Tinkoff-Saxo on the last lap, a front group of 22 riders was formed on the descent towards the finish line in Lugano, where Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida) proved the fastest on the line, while Tinkoff-Saxo's Manuele Boaro finished 8th.
 
Tinkoff-Saxo’s sports director, Bruno Cenghialta, was satisfied with how the team had performed, despite the final efforts to avoid a sprint finish proved to no avail.
 
“We are satisfied with the way we raced here in Lugano. Being a very fast race and not having Peter Sagan in the squad, we sought to approach it the best way suited to us. Overall, we are satisfied with what we achieved. We were in the main breakaway, Paulinho and Basso performed well and Boaro was in the last sprint. But of course, we would have liked to cross the finish line fourth rather than eighth. It wasn't an extraordinary day but it was a race where we did our homework well”, comments Bruno Cenghialta after the race. 

The 2015 edition of Gran Premio di Lugano featured an undulating 185km route, which offered plenty of uphill sections that were used to toughen the race. A group of no less then 17 riders including Jay McCarthy formed soon after the race start. But the main peloton was not content with letting such a big group get a comfortable gap and a safe distance was maintained during the race, until the remaining part of the early break was brought back on the final lap.
 
“The big breakaway of the day lasted 150km, with Jay McCarthy in it. Jay raced very well and showed excellent form. When the peloton reached that breakaway, another group of about 10 riders went away with Chris-Anker Sørensen in it. But the pack brought it back before the finale. Both Jay and Chris-Anker were racing for the very first time this year and I think they had an excellent performance”, continues Cenghialta.
 
Active finale from Tinkoff-Saxo
The fight was ongoing into the finale, as the riders had to tackle three short climbs before the finishing straight down towards Lugano. Tinkoff-Saxo launched several attacks with Ivan Basso and Sergio Paulinho. But it was difficult to create the decisive gap on the fast descent, Cenghialta explains:
 
“We attacked with Paulinho on the climbs and then with Basso but the race was too fast to get away. Like I said prior to the race, it was going to be very fast and it did end in a reduced bunch sprint of 22 riders”.
 
On the final descent with 5km to go, the main group of favorites got organized and brought in a late attack from Paulinho. In the sprint, Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida) took the win, while Manuele Boaro crossed the line as eighth. After the race, team leader Ivan Basso had a good feeling.
 
“I, personally, felt in top shape and that gives me great confidence for the next races and my personal goal, which is to help the team. I am already focused on the work I have to do this week, which will mainly consist of fine-tuning and paying considerable attention to the small details. I have to be in top shape for the Tirreno-Adriatico, where we’ll provide support to our team leader, Alberto Contador”, says Ivan Basso and continues:
 
"At Tirreno, we will have to go head to head against some of the best teams but we have put on a lot of hard work in the last few months and we are convinced it will pay its dividends. We are ready to fight and take Alberto Contador to victory at the Tirreno-Adriatico”, concludes Basso.
 
Tinkoff-Saxo will return to action on Saturday at Strade Bianche, March 7th.

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