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“I just waited for the moment to start [my sprint], but honestly, when Greipel started his sprint he was really strong. I was coming back on Kristoff, but then the line was already there.”

Photo: Trek Factory Racing




23.08.2015 @ 19:11 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Giacomo Nizzolo could not better his second place of last year in the Vattenfall Classics, but he did sprint to a podium place for his third time in the Hamburg race, taking third behind winner Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff.


“Looking back to the Eneco Tour where I was feeling really bad, this was a good result today,” said Nizzolo. “Especially because I was not second again! It’s the third podium for me in Hamburg, it’s a race that I really like, and today I showed again that when I am mentally ready I can be there after 200 kilometers. I am happy about that and happy that my feeling is a lot better than last week and now I am looking forward to Plouay.”


The 20th edition of the 220-kilometer German classic is known to end in a bunch sprint and this year it was no different despite plenty of antagonists trying their best to upset the normal state of affairs.


In the end, a reduced bunch gathered after the final ascent of the steep Waseberg climb with 13 kilometers remaining, and a battle ensued between sprinters’ teams, to keep it all together, and rival teams, attacking relentlessly to create a last minute surprise, right to the final two kilometers.


Earlier, Fabio Felline had attacked after the penultimate climb of the Waseberg with around 23-kilomters to go, but it was short-lived as the peloton kept close tabs on all late moves.


Knowing a sprint was inevitable, Felline then threw everything he had into helping Nizzolo in the finale, and he did a fabulous job to lead Nizzolo under the last kilometer red kite into the final 700 meters, dropping him off in fourth wheel.


“It was planned for Felline to go, but he went too early for what we had decided,” explained director Adriano Baffi. “It would have been better for him to attack at the time when [Julien] Alaphillipe went on the last climb, but anyway…he tried, and after that he did everything for Giacomo. He did a superb job.”


“Fabio was doing a ridiculously good job in the end. He brought me to the last 700 meters, and that is exactly what I asked from him. I knew we were not able to make a leadout today, and I know perfectly this finish and that it was important to be really, really in the front at the red flag. It’s what I asked and it’s what he did. He was fantastic,” Nizzolo agreed.


Nizzolo had prime real estate going into the final half kilometer sitting behind Greipel and Kristoff and there was nothing more for him to do, but do what he does best; unfortunately, today, Greipel’s best was simply unbeatable.


“In the end when Fabio left me at 700 meters I just closed my eyes and went in the train of Lotto, behind Greipel,” continued Nizzolo. “I just waited for the moment to start [my sprint], but honestly, when Greipel started his sprint he was really strong. I was coming back on Kristoff, but then the line was already there.”


“It’s a pity that we say again that we have a podium and not the victory, but today we could no nothing more. Giacomo has not one regret about today – we saw a super Greipel; he was unbeatable. Greipel was the strongest, there was no doubt about that,” Baffi added.


In the closing part of the race, a large crash took down a number of riders including Trek Factory Racing’s Jesse Sergent and Gregory Rast. Thankfully, both teammates came through with no serious injuries.


“We had Jesse and Gregy go down in the big crash with 40 kilometers to go more or less. We had to change the bike of Jesse, but both are okay, they were with the team doctor after the race and there is nothing serious,” reported Baffi.



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