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"Giacomo said the team did a very good lead out for him, but he made a mistake with one hesitation in one moment that cost him his speed. Condition-wise he was fine," Demol says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing




26.07.2014 @ 23:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giacomo Nizzolo returned to action earlier today in the first stage of the Tour de Wallonie which he won overall two years ago. The Italian finished fourth in the opening bunch sprint and regretted a mistake that preventing him from sprinting for the win.


The five-day race around the Wallonie region of Belgium kicked off with a short 148-kilometer stage Saturday. Three riders formed the key breakaway of the race, but with a tailor-made parcours for a mass sprint ending the sprinters’ teams were not keen to let a stage win opportunity, or the leader’s jersey, slide away the first day in.


The three escapees were caught well before the heated run-in to the finish, and the sprinters’ teams, including Trek Factory Racing, began jostling for prime real estate.


Over the line Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) claimed the first stage sprint ahead of Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Juan José Lobato (Movistar). Nizzolo would just miss out from the top three with his fourth place.


Director Dirk Demol was reached shortly after the stage and explained how the team fared, plus the team’s overall goals for the five-day event:


“It was a decent result considering this was several of our riders’ first race back after a long break from racing," sports director Dirk Demol said. "[Eugenio] Alafaci had not raced since the Giro and Giacomo crashed in the third stage of the Dauphiné, and is still coming back to form.


"It was a short stage and it was almost certain it would be a sprint. We helped by putting one rider, Alafaci, on the front to help bring the breakaway back. At the end it arrived with the expected sprint.


"Giacomo said the team did a very good lead out for him, but he made a mistake with one hesitation in one moment that cost him his speed. Condition-wise he was fine, Tomorrow is another stage that normally ends with a sprint, so we will give it another go.


"This race is never easy, in theory the first days are for the sprinters and the last days are more selective. The final stage will be huge because we do the last 25 kilometers of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It will be a GC rider that will win the race, someone who can climb okay. We hope that we can make a good GC with maybe Stijn [Devolder] or Laurent [Didier].


"But our ambition is to win a stage, and finish high on GC. You never know with Giacomo, he has come from an altitude camp, and he is someone who can also survive down to the final 30-35 riders and raise his chances at a stage win.”



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