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"The condition is good. My role is to work for Kristoff in the big races, but I showed that I can finish the job too when Kristoff is not in the race."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




19.03.2015 @ 17:56 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The one-day race GP Nobili took place on Thursday with many riders using the race as a tune-up run for Sunday’s important Milano – Sanremo. Team Katusha’s Marco Haller took third place in the group sprint, showing good form in the early part of the classics season.


“I have a mixed feeling after this race. I am happy with my podium place. On the other hand I feel that maybe I could have done even better. Luca Paolini positioned me very well and at 300 meters from the finish I started the sprint. I felt that it was maybe a little early and I hesitated again. Just then the others came over me and I started a new sprint. That little second of hesitation could have cost me a victory. It was close with Nizzolo and Ponzi, but after all, I am satisfied. The condition is good. My role is to work for Kristoff in the big races, but I showed that I can finish the job too when Kristoff is not in the race,” said Marco Haller to the Katusha website. 


Alexander Kristoff will lead the team in the defense of his Milano – Sanremo victory on Sunday. Haller was joined on the podium by winner Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and defending champion Simone Ponzi of Southeast in second place.         


“Today the team did a good job. We saved Haller for the final sprint. There was a climb in the two local laps but Marco managed to stay in the peloton. In the descent of the last climb Alejandro Valverde and Davide Rebellin broke away and got 25 seconds. During the remaining 16 kilometers, Team Katusha put up a great effort to close the gap. In the end Orica-GreenEdge and Cannondale-Garmin helped us so that we could finish with a sprint in the streets of Stresa,” said team director José Azevedo.


The race began in Suno and ended in Stresa after 187,5 km. The climbs on today’s parcours took a toll on many of the sprinters but Haller was able to stay in with the group as they chased Valverde and Rebellin. His efforts paid off when the group was all together with 8 kilometers to go. With the pace high, Haller was brought into position by his Katusha teammates and ramped up his sprint, missing just a little for overall victory but taking a strong podium position on the day.


Immediately after the GP Nobili, the Milan – Sanremo riders did an extra 1,5 hour of training. Team Katusha is well motivated for the Classicissima this Sunday.



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