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"Viviani was in the wheel of Greipel and I had to brake full to go out of the line of FDJ and jump to this. So I lost some meters, I jumped on the right side of the road, and had to go across and close the gap. Once I closed the gap I...

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






07.09.2014 @ 00:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Giacomo Nizzolo went into the Brussels Cycling Classic as one of the big favourites but had to settle for seventh in the bunch sprint. A smart move by Lotto Belisol forced the Italian to brake in the finale.


The 202–kilometer fall semi-classic, one of the oldest races on the international calendar and run around the Brussels-Capital region, included 19 hellingen in its tough parcours, but was always targeted to end in a mass sprint barring any big surprise.


Despite the constant attacks and endless small breakaways forming to the last kilometers the projected bunch sprint did play out, thanks in large part to the tireless work of teams like Trek Factory Racing.


Trek Factory Racing was a presence all race and assumed control of the peloton with less than 40 kilometers to go, policing the latest breakaway of four men that had a marginal lead. With this break contained another would surge off the front, and the team was there again, attentive, helping when necessary, all for the one card they wanted to play today with Giacomo Nizzolo in the final sprint.


Unfortunately, when the sprint unfolded Nizzolo had to react to a move in the final crucial meters that would cost him a high finish, and he ended up in seventh place.


“We gave Nizzolo the full team support today for the expected bunch sprint," sports direcor Dirk Demol said. "There were a lot of top sprinters here as you can see from the top three finishers. Giaco was 7th, and he was close in a certain moment, but he had to brake in the last bit and he lost places at the end.


"But the team was super today - they did everything I asked. Danilo [Hondo] brought Giacomo to the last corner in a good position. The team did a very good job and there is nothing else to say except sprints can be like that.”


André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) bested all the other team’s fastmen to win his second consecutive Brussels Cycling Classic. Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Arnaud Démare ( rounded out the podium.


It was disappointing, Nizzolo explained, to not finish off the great teamwork today. He described the final kilometer and the moment where he lost his chance at a top place:


“I was behind Démare because FDJ were the team that was best organized, and then Lotto came with Gallopin and Greipel in his wheel. They anticipated the sprint and moved before anyone else. Viviani was in the wheel of Greipel and I had to brake full to go out of the line of FDJ and jump to this. So I lost some meters, I jumped on the right side of the road, and had to go across and close the gap. Once I closed the gap I can say that the legs were gone.


"This was a big effort, it was slightly uphill, and I had to jump wide to the right to close the gap. It’s a pity because the team was great all day and Danilo made such a good job in the last kilometer. But you know in the sprint sometimes everything can be lost in a moment.”



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