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"They all rode really well and it was just a shame we couldn't get a result at the end of it. They were motivated from the start and got themselves in a good position just behind Movistar when the pace began to rise," Cioni says

Photo: Sirotti








10.03.2014 @ 13:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky rarely leave a race empty-handed but for the second day in a row there was no glory when the weekend of Italian races ended with the Roma Maxima. Having been on the defensive all the day, the team could only manage 14th with Chris Sutton who showed impressive climbing form.


Despite their best efforts, Team Sky were unable to influence the outcome of Roma Maxima as Alejandro Valverde narrowly outpaced the peloton in a fantastic finale outside the Colosseum.

Team Sky had ridden hard on the front of a vastly-reduced bunch to try and bring the Movistar rider back after he had broken clear on the final climb of the day with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale), and although they swept Pozzovivo up in the last 200 metres, they couldn’t catch Valverde who took his victory by the tightest of margins.


Chris Sutton had been well positioned in preparation for the catch, but rolled home in 14th spot after Valverde had sealed his sixth success of the season. Salvatore Puccio was also in that front group of 33 riders, and another solid performance highlighted his burgeoning form ahead of the upcoming Cobbled Classics.


After the stage, Sports Director Dario Cioni was pleased with his team's performance.


"They all rode really well and it was just a shame we couldn't get a result at the end of it. They were motivated from the start and got themselves in a good position just behind Movistar when the pace began to rise. Valverde was fantastic today though. He showed he was in good form at the Ruta del Sol and has continued that here.


"When he went, CJ was temporarily dropped but did a tremendous job to get himself back in the peloton. Once he'd done that Josh [Edmondson], Salva [Puccio] and Sebastian [Henao] gave a really determined chase which helped to get CJ [Sutton] back into contention.


"CJ committed to the sprint and only sat up when Valverde had taken his victory. It was unlucky that Ben [Swift] wasn't there with him, but he was feeling tired today after his efforts at Strade Bianche.


"Overall, I'm happy with how we've performed this week. Salva deserves special praise because he's been really consistent, but all the guys have shown their condition is building nicely going into the Classics. We've had a young squad here and they'll have learnt a lot from the last two days."



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