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“But anyway, it is a good result for the team - good for the young guys. What Giacomo showed today is that he is back at a good level. It was technical, but you also had to be strong to have a good result like this," Gallopin says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing








29.04.2014 @ 20:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giacomo Nizzolo got his season off to diastrous start when he broke his collarbone just a few weeks after taking his first win of the year but now he is back at his best. Today he finished 4th in the Tour de Romandie prologue to prove that he is fully ready for his upcoming goals at the Giro d'Italia.


The 5.5-kilometer pancake flat course included narrow, snaking roads with numerous fast corners and suited the short explosiveness and bike handling skills of Giacomo Nizzolo. He finished in a blazing time of 06:26 (+04”), only fractions of a second from second place. It was an impressive performance for Nizzolo, and shows he is back to top form after his early season injury.


“Giacomo’s time was so close from second place and that is a little disappointing because second is always better than third or fourth,” said director Alain Gallopin. “But anyway, it is a good result for the team – good for the young guys. What Giacomo showed today is that he is back at a good level. It was technical, but you also had to be strong to have a good result like this.”


Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) set a fast time early on and held on to win the race against the clock in 6:22:84. Hundredths of a second separated the next three riders as Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) finished second and third, a hair in front of Nizzolo. All were placed at four seconds in the overall results.


Jesse Sergent put his strong pursuiting skills to test and finished in 8th (+08”) with the team’s young 20-year-old sprinter Danny van Poppel in 12th (+09”).


“I am very happy with the results,” added Gallopin. “Jesse Sergent was good and Danny van Poppel did a nice TT, too. It is a good start, and good for the team morale and I hope that we can win a stage this week.”


With a few stages suiting the sprinters in the six-day race, Trek Factory Racing will be looking towards Nizzolo for a possible stage victory, but for the overall classification the focus of the team will be on Riccardo Zoidl, who finished the prologue in 49th place (+20”).


“Of course our focus will be to have a good result with Riccardo; he can do well here,” continued Gallopn. “He did a good time in the prologue, right in there with the other GC favorites. The prologue is hard when it’s your first race to come back to after you have not raced in some time; it’s difficult to make a good result.  We can see this with Giacomo because he has just come off some races, and just finished a short TT, and it made a difference today.  Riccardo had no racing before, but there is no doubt he will come good later.”


The six-day tour continues tomorrow with a 200-kilometer stage, a course suited to the climbers as it ascends over an Alp pass and finishes with a tough category two climb with less than 20 kilometers to go.  With snow always a possibility in the mountains of Switzerland, especially in the spring, climbing the pass may be questionable explained Gallopin.


“Tomorrow we have to do the Simplonpass and we climb to more than 2000m altitude,” he said. “We have to wait to see what the weather will do, because if it’s raining, I think it is not possible to pass that climb. Tomorrow we will have the news about that.”



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