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“I am quite happy because everyone knew my condition was not good coming here, and even I was unsure if I could even finish the race. In the end I finished the Tour Down Under, which for me was a goal."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






25.01.2015 @ 15:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Santos Tour Down Under ended Sunday with a speedy circuit race in the heart of Adelaide. The 90-kilometer stage six consisted of 20 laps of a 4.5-kilometer circuit, and with a small hill each lap and two seconds separating first and second place overall, plus a lot of hungry teams still searching a stage win, it was more than a casual promenade around a city park.


Laurent Didier launched one of the first attacks, but it was Calvin Watson who caught the first successful breakaway, joining five other riders. Despite the escapees sharing the work, Orica GreenEdge pulled them back ahead of the first sprint.


A counter move saw six more try their luck off the front. They gained over a minute’s lead, until they too were chased back with three laps to go.



From here, the battle for position raged in an already nervous peloton and resulted in numerous crashes, with the largest pile-up occurring before the start of the final lap. Trek Factory Racing managed to avoid that carnage, but a few laps earlier Marco Coledan took a nasty spill, launching over his handlebars.


Although he was able to remount, there was no hope of returning to a peloton in warp drive.


“I was expecting this scenario,” said Giacomo Nizzolo about the crashes. “The last day is always stressful, especially when there is a circuit like that. Marco went down, but we are lucky that in the end he’s not so bad.”


No team was able to take full control of the screaming downhill leading into the sweeping right-hander and final dash to the line.  Wouter Wippert (Drapac) snagged the final stage honors in the free-for-all sprint, while Rohan Dennis (BMC) successfully defended his slim two-second lead to win the overall.


It was a better day for Nizzolo who avoided the late crashes and sprinted to 12th place. It was not a result to write home about, but it was a glimpse that Nizzolo’s form is finally coming around.


“The team worked well to put me in good position in the last laps – it was really good especially for January,” Nizzolo continued. “I am quite happy because everyone knew my condition was not good coming here, and even I was unsure if I could even finish the race. In the end I finished the Tour Down Under, which for me was a goal. And today, I even tried to do the sprint, so that is something that is really good for my head.”


General Manager Luca Guercilena, who viewed today’s fast race from the sidelines, was philosophical in his overview of the final stage, and the race as a whole:


“The race was not too bad for us, considering that we lost Marco who was supposed to pull the sprint. At the end Giacomo, who is coming back from injury, made the sprint. He was in good position close to the finish, but his condition is not at the right level to win.


“But anyway, we are happy. If Giacomo had his normal condition coming here he could have done some good results. We were unlucky that we had some injuries around Christmas time that didn’t put us in the perfect situation to be competitive here.”



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