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“When I saw the finish today, if Giacomo would have been there he may of done something. He told me today he was feeling good, and yes he is not at 100% form but Debusschere was third and he is not at 100%, too."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






13.10.2014 @ 00:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With a recent third place in Paris-Bourges, Giacomo Nizzolo was one of the favourites for Paris-Tours. However, a late crash took the fast Italian out of contention.


Bad luck reared its ugly head for Trek Factory Racing in the final European race of the season as punctures and a late crash by Giacomo Nizzolo ruined any chance of a high finish Sunday.


In the end the 108th edition of Paris-Tours (237.5-kilometers) saw two survivors of the original seven-man escape group hold off the chasing peloton to contest a two-up sprint finish.


Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) beat Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) in an exciting finale as Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) led home the bunch for third, 12 seconds later.


The final two short but nasty climbs in the closing crucial kilometers sorted out a small chase group, and with four kilometers to go Jasper Stuyven jumped across with FDJ sprinterArnaud Démare. It was a smart move, but the disorganization amid the group allowed another bunch to latch on from behind, and gave the two leaders enough real estate to safely battle out the win.


Stuyven paid for his efforts in chasing back from his late puncture, then bridging to the front group, and faded to 37th place in the final dash to the line.


“We had a lot of punctures today with the rain," sports director Alain Gallopin said. "Jasper also flatted close to the finish but came back [to the peloton] and then was able to reach the group of Degenkolb with Démare. But after that he was dead for the sprint. 


"Giacomo crashed close to the finish, it was very slippery, and he could not come back. With the team we had here, we could have really made good results today; we had almost a full team at the end. Giant Shimano and FDJ controlled all day so it was not so difficult, but all the flat tires…it was impossible for us.”


Nizzolo came across the line in 119th place over 10 minutes later, unable to make better on his promising third place in Paris-Bourges Wednesday.


“When I saw the finish today, if Giacomo would have been there he may of done something. He told me today he was feeling good, and yes he is not at 100% form but Debusschere was third and he is not at 100%, too.  At the end [Debusschere's] group came back and….it’s frustrating for me because when you have the riders to do a result, and you don’t have the result due to bad luck. It’s a pity.”


Despite the frustration of the team’s misfortune, Gallopin was able to see the silver lining with the effort of Jasper Stuyven, 22, at the race’s end:


"The plan was for Jasper to follow Vanmarcke, Van Avermaet, and Degenkolb at the end.  I was pretty sure he could follow the best, but when he did make it to the group after coming back from his flat, no one wanted to pull.  But Jasper was really, really strong and I think he learned something for the future."


And in the end the two leaders, out front for nearly all of the 237 kilometers, earned their podium. It was vintage Voeckler, explained Gallopin of his French compatriot:


“Honestly a breakaway with Voeckler that goes to the end is not a surprise for me. He is such a smart guy, he knows the right moves, and he knows that at the end of a race like today the chasing groups will be disorganized since the sprinters’ teams had pulled from the beginning of the day and 20-30 seconds is enough to make it. It was a strategy – a strategy of Voeckler.”



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