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“I tried to anticipate Bouhanni with 200m to go, because I saw he was not starting the sprint. In the end he beat me, I was close, but what counts is first. Maybe the next time we will get the stage," Nizzolo says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

GIACOMO NIZZOLO

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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16.05.2014 @ 19:07 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Forthe second time in Giro, Nacer Bouhanni won a stage and for the second time Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) was his nearest challenger. Despite having a better feeling than he had in his first narrow defeat, the Italian is frustrated to again narrowly miss a win.

 

It was textbook.

 

Giacomo Nizzolo was riding fourth wheel with 500 meters to go. Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) jumped first and Nizzolo responded immediately from his left, while Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) launched from the right. Both riders exploded around Mezgec in a fastman sandwich. At the line Nizzolo threw his bike, but Bouhanni edged him out for the victory. Mezgec crossed for third.

 

“I tried to anticipate Bouhanni with 200m to go, because I saw he was not starting the sprint," Nizzzolo said. "In the end he beat me, I was close, but what counts is first. Maybe the next time we will get the stage.”

 

The action began with five riders forming the breakaway that frolicked out front for the majority of the 211-kilometer stage. The ominous clouds hovered all day, and a few drops sputtered, but it was the first stage the rain held off, and with it the subsequent slippery roads. The undulating and lengthy parcours made for a tough stage, but the sprinters’ teams were hungry for a sprint finish. Trek Factory Racing, with the same plan, threw Femiyuki Beppu and Eugenio Alafaci onto the front to help with the initial chase.  

 

“It was not an easy stage to decide if we should ride for a breakaway or for the sprint. It was not easy with all the hills. But we followed our plan. When the breakaway went at the beginning, I was not feeling so good, but I began to feel better and better as the stage went along. Near the end we had Fumy and Eugenio pull. Everyone did his part - the team was fantastic today.”

 

The quintet slowed with fatigue as the peloton raged with speed in the final 10 kilometers; the unavoidable snag was made at three kilometers to go.

 

“The gap was going down one minute every 10k. The road helped the peloton in the chase since it was slightly downhill so the speed form the peloton was really, really fast. In the front they also began to attack each other, and that was also good for us. At the end we caught them back.”

 

After the opening week with so many crashes, a clearly nervous peloton navigated the final kilometers. However, Trek Factory Racing expertly led Nizzolo into prime real estate for the final kilometer, and the only thing spoiling his first Giro stage win was a slightly faster Bouhanni. Boy van Poppel also finished in 8th place, a result of helping Nizzolo in the last few kilometers.

 

“It was a good sprint for me - not many mistakes - so it was a good second place. I have a better feeling than my second place in Bari. I am only sorry because a victory is always better, but the shape is there, and now we continue to look forward. The first goal for me is a stage win, if the red [points] jersey comes from that, then okay, but the big goal is a win.”

 

There were no changes to the top spots in the overall after today’s stage and Robert Kiserlovski continues in16th place (+2'24"). The Giro heads into serious hills for stage eight tomorrow, and It could be the first theatrical show amongst the GC contenders.

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