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"The feelings are certainly not bad. This is the paradox. I felt well at the start of the crucial points but in those moments I missed the change of pace that would allow me to stay with the main contenders," Pozzato says

Photo: Sirotti

DAVIDE CIMOLAI

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FILIPPO POZZATO

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RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN

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SACHA MODOLO

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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07.04.2014 @ 12:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After another disappoiting performance at the Tour of Flanders, it seems that Filippo Pozzato may be going through another poor classics season but the Italian is very mystified by his results. In fact the former runner-up at the event felt great all day and sees it as a paradox that he lacks the change of pace to follow the favourites.

 

Filippo Pozzato is a former winner of E3 Harelbeke and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a former runner-up in both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix which clearly indicates that he is one of the most skilled athletes on the cobbles. For the second year in a row, however, it seems that he may leave the classics campaign without any major results.

 

After finishing 2nd in the 2012 Tour of Flanders, Pozzato joined Lampre-Merida as their leader for the cobbled classics but in his first year illness slowed him down in his most important races. He did well during the second half of the season and so expectations were high for the 2014 season.

 

Having already performed below expectations at E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, Pozzato was again off the mark in yesterday's Tour of Flanders as he could only manage 17th. The Italian is confused by the poor performances as the sensations are great.

 

"I'm not bad, I feel that all the work I have done in the first few months of the season has given me agood condition," he said. "The feelings are certainly not bad. This is the paradox.

 

"I felt well at the start of the crucial points but in those moments I missed the change of pace that would allow me to stay with the main contenders. Even today, I was not tired at the finish but I did not have the pace to stay with the best, even if the gap was not huge. I was hoping that I could join a few riders to try to make it into the top 10."

 

In general it was a bad day for Lampre-Merida as Davide Cimolai was the only other rider to reach the finish.

 

"I have always tried to stay in the lead," he said. "You need good legs because the run-in to every climb is a sprint to be in the best position. Unfortunately, after the penultimate passage of the Paterberg, I had to stop to avoid ending up in the crash that involved Devolder and so I lost my chance to stay with the lead group."

 

Sacha Modolo won two stages in last year's Three Days of De Panne but had no previous experience in the Tour of Flanders. Hence, it was more about getting the feel of the race than obtaining a result for the fast Italian.

 

"I was always in a good position to avoid all the risks that this race has," he said. "The legs were very good. I felt so well that during the second passage of the Kwaremont I was in the top fifteen positions. Soon thereafter, however, halfway up the Paterberg, I turned off the light.

 

"I see this participation in the Tour of Flanders as an investment for the future. Surely I go home with a lot of experience in handling this kind of races."

 

The team animated the day with Andrea Palini who was part of the early break.

 

"At the meeting with the sports directors we had planned to try to break away from the first kilometers of the race," he said. "I put all the possible effort into. I have done dozens of attacks, but the pace was very high and it was impossible to get away. 

 

"Finally, after about 40 km, an escape attempt with me won the battle against the peloton. it also takes a little  bit ofluck, because my teammates Bonifazio, Favilli and Wackermann were always caught by the peloton despite trying numerous attacks."

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