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“On one hand I am lucky on the other the luck was not there. I was missing the luck to get the victory, but I am also lucky that I did not crash. When [Ewan] touched my wheel I could only imagine what was happening behind!”

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






03.08.2015 @ 22:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the second straight day at the Tour of Poland, the sprinters ruled the roost, but a massive high-speed crash in the final meters ruined what may have been a higher placing for Giacomo Nizzolo.


Giacomo Nizzolo narrowly missed a horrendous pileup in the last 200 meters of the second stage at the Tour of Poland Monday to sprint to third place behind winner Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) and second-placed Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin).


“What can I say?” explained Nizzolo after the race. “On one hand I am lucky on the other the luck was not there. I was missing the luck to get the victory, but I am also lucky that I did not crash. When [Ewan] touched my wheel I could only imagine what was happening behind!”


The crash occurred just as Nizzolo began his final kick to the line. Orica GreenEdge sprinter, Caleb Ewan, clipped a wheel, lost his balance, and came flying into Nizzolo from the right, knocking Nizzolo’s rear wheel and pushing him sideways.


Showing some nifty bike handling skills, Nizzolo managed to stay upright and continue his sprint, but the momentary lapse zapped his top speed.



“When someone hits your back wheel like this it’s impossible to get back the speed and those coming from behind have an advantage; I am disappointed to only be third, but happy that I did not go down or I would not be talking to you right now," he said.


Only nine men avoided the carnage; the rest of the peloton was stopped in its tracks as numerous riders skidded, flipped, and tumbled to create a mess of bikes and bodies that blocked the finish straight from the right side barrier to the left.


Under the three-kilometer ruling, everyone was granted the same time and no changes resulted to the overall classification.



There was little for Trek Facotry Racing to do until the closing kilometers in the 146-kilometer second stage that was again designed for the sprinters. With some 30 kilometers remaining Jesse Sergent rotated at the front, aiding a few other teams in the chase to make the team's presence and intentions known. Then, in the final four kilometers the pinstripes lined ahead of Nizzolo and drove the peloton until just under two kilometers to go. In the final 1.5 kilometers Nizzolo was alone, but the team executed the pre-race plan, he explained:


“I think the team made a big step forward from yesterday,” continued Nizzolo. “We were much better in the finale, and I want to say thanks to the guys. The plan was to be in good position for the last turn with 1.5kms to go, and we were there.  We wanted one guy to then stay with me for the final 1.5 K , but the guys used everything before then and I was alone. I had to use a bit more energy than I wanted, but honestly I don’t think it made much difference.


“Tomorrow we try again. I am feeling good and I am optimistic - I always say never give up.”



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