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"I am still disappointed for yesterday because I had the feeling I could be much better than fourth place. So today I did not hesitate even one second and started the sprint just before 200 meters."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing




28.07.2014 @ 01:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday Giacomo Nizzolo was hugely disappointed after having started his sprint too late in the first stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Today the Italian who won the race overall, didn't make the same mistake and his lack of hesitation allowed him to win the second stage.


The 193-kilometer second stage of the Tour de Wallonie ended in the projected bunch sprint and this time Giacomo Nizzolo got it right. He easily topped his fourth place of yesterday capping off a perfect team effort and sprinting to the win ahead of Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing). 

It was the second victory for Nizzolo this year, and it came on his first race since signing a contract extension with Trek Factory Racing through 2016: it could not be sweeter.

“The team was great today," he said. "I am still disappointed for yesterday because I had the feeling I could be much better than fourth place. So today I did not hesitate even one second and started the sprint just before 200 meters.

"Today was the longest stage and I had okay feeling, but I can’t say I felt the best since I am coming back from a break. It’s the first race of the second part of the season, so I am very happy.”

Sunday’s stage was almost a carbon copy to the opening stage of the five-day race around the French-speaking region of Belgium. The only significant differences were the breakaway consisted of four men, one more than yesterday’s escape, and Lotto-Belisol had the leader’s jersey to defend and the onus to do the bulk of the work in the chase.

Similar to stage one, the breakaway was caught far out from the finish, but with a hotly contested intermediate sprint at 16-kilometers to go, and a stage win on the line for the respective team’s fastmen, there was no chance an antagonist could slip away and spoil the day.

Trek Factory Racing moved to the front in the last kilometers with two teammates assisting Nizzolo until the final escort, Boy van Poppel, drove Nizzolo into the final meters where he restituted yesterday’s error with the win.

“He was very disappointed yesterday, after having a good lead out by the team, but he made the mistake of starting his sprint too late," sports director Dirk Demol said. "Today the team did a very good lead out again - Boy took over in the final 600meters, and took Giaco into the final meters. It was perfect.”

“All the guys helped; at the end it was Eugenio [Alafaci], Danilo [Hondo], Jasper [Stuyven] and Boy [van Poppel] was the last," Nizzolo added. "Stijn [Devolder] and Laurant [Didier] did a good job earlier on. Everyone put something into this victory! This victory is for them, my team, and also I would like to dedicate it to the family of a 14-year-old boy who was tragically killed in Italy. I did not know him, but he was also a rider, and I would like to remember him.”

Gianni Meersman grabbed the leader’s jersey with successive second place finishes, and intermediate time bonuses. Giacomo Nizzolo moved into second place, five seconds behind, with Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Belisol) slipping to third, also at five seconds.


"I'm really happy to have won this sprint," Nizzolo said. "I was in the Tour de Wallonie to win at least one stage and this is now done. Now everything else is a bonus.


"I love this race. I include it in my schedule year after year. I remember that my success here was one of the most beautiful victories until now. For the general classification, it is always decided by a few seconds and it makes for a nervous race. I think we will have to wait until the last day to find the final winner. All the details are important."



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