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"For Giacomo it is not a good result - he’s not happy - he’s a sprinter! For a sprinter you need to be first. But for me, for him to get over these climbs, he was good. But it’s like this - there is another chance for...

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






01.05.2014 @ 20:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) dug deep to stay with the peloton on the climbs in today's stage of the Tour de Romandie but when it came to the sprint, he was out of position. The Italian had to do a long sprint and unfortunately made a perfect lead-out for eventual Michael Albasini, ultimately crossing the line in 3rd.


Giacomo Nizzolo was again tested to his limit over the undulating kilometers of stage two, but unlike yesterday where a crash in front of him ended his chances, today he was able to contest the sprint, albeit from less than perfect position. Forced to jump earlier than he wanted Nizzolo faded in the final meters, while Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) came around Nizzolo in a burst of speed to snatch the win, his second in as many days. Nizzolo held on for third.


“It was a difficult stage, and hard to pass over the climbs, and for sprinters it was not easy," explained director Alain Gallopin from the team's car at the stage's finish. "In the end we only had Riccardo [Zoidl], Jesse [Sergent] and Giacomo in the first group. Jesse did the maximum he could but when you see the sprint you see that Giacomo had to go early.


"For Giacomo it is not a good result – he’s not happy - he’s a sprinter! For a sprinter you need to be first. But for me, for him to get over these climbs, he was good. But it’s like this - there is another chance for him Saturday.”


Two riders escaped from the drop of the flag and with the lack of firepower in the break they were granted a large lead of over 13 minutes. The parcours was a series of leg-searing ups and downs in the latter part of the 166.5-kilometer race, creating attrition from the peloton as Omega Pharma-QuickStep controlled the pace at the front and slowly drew in the escapees.


With many of the top sprinters unable to hold on and Nizzolo hanging tough at the back of the peloton over the sharp climbs the day was looking promising for the on-form Italian.  However, no sprint is predictable and with the climbs zapping the speed and strength from his legs, plus minimal help at the end, third was the best he could manage on the day.


“Albasini won yesterday and today. He won because he is in fantastic shape; he was stronger," continued Gallopin. "Today was a hard parcours and tomorrow is real difficult. Nizzolo is in great shape, but I did not want the team to do too much to kill themselves today. With the Giro [d’Italia] and California around the corner we have to monitor our efforts.”


Riccardo Zoidl finished in the same time as the main peloton ahead of the first mountain stage - and first big test of the general classification - tomorrow.


“It’s a real difficult stage tomorrow, one for the GC,” added Gallopin. “We already checked out the last climb and downhill because our hotel is nearby and I will go to see the second to last climb later. Tomorrow we look after Riccardo.”



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