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"I am very disappointed. In 21 days at the Giro I was one of the few who never crashed. Today I hoped to profit from my Giro shape, but everything ended because of a crash. Unbelievable," Nizzolo says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






10.06.2014 @ 17:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After finishing second in four Giro d'Italia stages, Giacomo Nizzolo kept training with one objective: to win the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. Everything was looking bright for the young Italian until a crash sent him out of the race with pain in his shoulder.


The large pile-up happened with 65 kilometers to go.  At the front Jens Voigt was pulling, facilitating the pace to bring back the three riders up the road. The team was ready; the process initiated. It was a day for Giacomo Nizzolo.


“It was maybe the only opportunity for a sprint finish in this race," sports director Alain Gallopin said. "When the gap grew to eight minutes both FDJ, for Démare, and us for Giacomo, began to pull to maintain a normal gap and control to the finish. Giacomo was feeling okay, in the prologue and yesterday, too. It's too bad as it was a technical finish, which would have been good for him.”


In less than a second everything changed. The awful screech of brakes. The next moment Nizzolo found himself sliding into the ditch.


“We were on the descent and I was moving up on the left side," he said. "The asphalt was bad – melting – and a few riders crashed ahead. I tried to avoid them in the grass, on the left, so as to not hit them. But when I braked it was so slippery. I went down on my left side.


"My left shoulder took the hardest hit. I don’t think anything is broken, I have movement, but the pain is getting worse, so I will go home to have it checked.”


Today was a stage beset for a sprint finish, and Nizzolo was no longer part of the plot. There was only one thing for the team to do once word spread Giacomo was out. In true ‘shut up legs’ style Jens Voigt, after doing the bulk of the work earlier, burst out of the peloton. Seven other riders joined him and they gained 40 seconds lead with 15 kilometers to go. It was a serious move.


“I only had to look at the faces to see there was big fatigue in the peloton," Voigt said. "Even though I tried an attack we knew today it was a 100% chance for a bunch kick.


"Our plan was not to do anything stupid on the first day, second day for Haimar, then today we try for Giacomo. After that we can go out all guns firing. Definitely we will still try to achieve something. First of all, keep the top 10 of Haimar [Zubeldia], second try to force our luck a little bit to get a stage win.”


Voigt's' attack jolted the apathetic peloton awake, and a furious chase ensued. With less than nine kilometers remaining the escapees were gathered back, the passing threat overturned. The forecasted mass sprint followed. There was nothing more for Trek Factory Racing and they rolled across the line in the main peloton; all chances for a stage win tumbled with Nizzolo’s fall. At the line Nikias Arndt (Giant-Shimao) took the victory; the overall GC remained unchanged.


“The doctor was with Giacomo for a long time but he was not able to get back on the bike," Gallopin said. "And after, when we saw him arrive at the bus, it was obvious he could not continue the race like this.”


Nizzolo exhibited great form in the Giro d’Italia where he just missed winning a stage – a major goal – finishing runner-up four times.  After completing the final day in Trieste Nizzolo did not rest for long: his focus turned to stage three of the Dauphiné where he hoped to use his Giro fast legs to sprint to victory.  He put in two high-quality training days ahead of the Critérium du Dauphiné, all for today.


The team believed in the win; the orders were simple: no one to join a breakaway and all hands on deck for a mass sprint finish. But the crash terminated the plan and ended Nizzolo’s race.


“Today was the best chance for me this week, and after the Giro I kept training to come here with the best shape - to try and use my form to get one stage," he said. "What can I say?  I did not want to finish the first part of the season with a crash. When I was on the ground I immediately realized that it was hard to get back on the bike, I tried, but it was not possible.


"I am very disappointed. In 21 days at the Giro I was one of the few who never crashed. Today I hoped to profit from my Giro shape, but everything ended because of a crash. Unbelievable.”



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