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"To ride in front of supporters gives wings but at the same time additional pressure. I was also more marked in the bunch. But I'm not complaining, I got what I wanted."

Photo: A.S.O.


26.08.2016 @ 22:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) confirmed his excellent condition by taking his third victory in less than two weeks when he came out on top in a reduced bunch sprint on the final stage of the Tour du Poitou-Charentes. After a late attack from Gianni Moscon (Sky) was neutralized just 200m from the line, he managed to hold Ben Swift (Sky) and Romain Feillu (Auber 93) off in the final dash to the line. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) finished safely to win the race for the fourth time, with Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) completing the podium.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Triumphant Sylvain Chavanel: I got what I wanted

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) told Directvelo:


"It was still a difficult stage and made by the intense heat. My teammates managed the stage to perfection. There were eight riders in front, but they were not dangerous overall. We had some leeway. On the last lap, I approached the climb in the front positions. Later I opened up my legs because they hurt. I managed my effort. Then I stayed in last place of the group, not to take risks. The team rode 100% for me, even though Bryan (Coquard) could have played his card in the sprint. It was hard in the final, with a small group at the finish. But with a margin overall, it's easier to manage.  Bryan Coquard worked too, so naturally he was a little tired for the sprint. To ride in front of supporters gives wings but at the same time additional pressure. I was also more marked in the bunch. But I'm not complaining, I got what I wanted. "

Sonny Colbrelli: Three wins in 8 days is a great result

The golden moment of Sonny Colbrelli and Bardiani-CSF is not finished yet. Today at Tour du Poitou-Charantes, the key rider of the #GreenTeam won the photo finish sprint.


“This success is the outcome of the strong desire that #GreenTeam has to continue our winning period,” said Colbrelli. “Since the meeting on the bus this morning we were confident to have good chance today, but in the finale not every factors worked in the right way. Rota and Andreetta, who were supporting me in the front of the bunch, were involved in a crash. Only thanks to Boem and Barbin, who did an extra effort after 150 km in the breakaway did I not lose any position. At 500 meters, the biggest problem - the rider in front of me crashed and I had to re-launch the sprint. Swift did a great comeback, but it was not enough.


"The team was fantastic once again. We put a rider at the front in the break (Enrico Barbin, ed) and the guys worked in the last two laps to set up a sprint finish. I am very happy to reward the work of the team with this victory. It was a very difficult and tight final sprint. I preferred to take the curve in front. I thought that was how I was going to win and that nobody would be able to come back. I had already won two stages at the Tour du Limousin, which makes it three wins in a short time. It's really great.”


Colbrelli’s fourth win in 2016 (and 13th as pro rider) comes after two successes at Tour du Limousin and it’s a clear signal of the great form he has had during last weeks.


“Without any doubts I’m enjoying a great moment and my teammates the same. Three wins in eight days of racing is a top result, more than I expected. Of course this doesn’t mean that it is enough. My goal is to present Bardiani-CSF with a great final part of the season. We all need to stay focused doing our best, starting from Sunday at Bretagne Classic,” added Colbrelli.


After eight month, Bardiani-CSF have 10 wins - besides the recent successes in France, they won GP of Lugano with Colbrelli, a stage at Settimana Coppi and Bartali with Pirazzi, a stage at Giro d’Italia with Ciccone and three stages at Tour of Austria with Ruffoni and Simone Sterbini 


Wilco Kelderman: I missed a mountain to make a difference

Team LottoNL-Jumbo won the points jersey, the youth jersey and the team classification at Tour du Poitou Charentes this week. In the last stage, Tom Asbroeck sprinted to sixth. The sprint in the streets of Poitiers was won by the Italian Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) ahead of Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Romain Feillu (Auber 93). Sylvain Chavanel won the general classification and Wilco Kelderman finished second overall.


In the last stage, between Thouars and Poitiers, a couple of escapes went free but the bunch with 40 men prepared for the sprint behind.


"The lead out was not perfect, Van Asbroeck got stuck in the front and couldn’t sprint for the victory,” Sports Director Frans Maassen.


It was the third time Van Asbroeck sprinted to a finish in the top six, counting his stage win in the second stage. His good results earned him the points jersey.


Wilco Kelderman finished second in the GC behind the experienced Sylvain Chavanel. The GC was mainly settled in the time trial in the fourth stage, where Kelderman finished 30 seconds behind the Frenchman.


"I had expected that Chavanel would go fast, but I didn’t know the he would beat me by 30 seconds,” Kelderman said. "The race was not difficult enough in the final stage, for me it would have been better if there was a mountain in it.


Wilco Kelderman finished in the peloton and maintained his second place, which also helped him take home the white jersey.


"It's nice that I won a jersey. It was a beautiful race with the stage win of Van Asbroeck and we won the points jersey and the team classification. That makes for a good atmosphere in the team. " 


Maassen knew it would be difficult to win the GC in the last stage.


“Before the time-trial, I said that whoever beats Oliveira would win the race, Wilco did it with a minor difference. But Chavanel rode even harder. And, the gap was too big to overcome in the last stage.”


“I have seen a good team all week, which is nice if you are the sport director behind them,” Maassen added. "With a stage victory, the team classification, second place in the overall standings and two jerseys you should definitely be satisfied.


“Now on our way to the next objective, the GP Plouay-Bretagne, hopefully we can do something beautiful there."


Gianni Moscon and Ben Swift in the mix for Sky in Poitou-Charentes

Gianni Moscon wrapped up fifth place overall at the Tour du Poitou-Charentes while Ben Swift was edged into second in the final sprint.


Moscon continued his impressive neo-pro season by launching a brave late attack with three kilometres to go, distancing the peloton only to be agonisingly swept up with 200 metres to go.


With the bunch sprint back in play, Swift came within fractions of his first victory of the year at the finish in Poitiers, narrowly edged out by Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF).


Moscon finished safely to ensure a top-five finish overall, 51 seconds back on race victor Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie).


After attempting to get up the road earlier in the race, Luke Rowe was able to push clear early on the 171km final day as part of an eight-man move.


The Welshman looked to drive the break onwards and attacked as the race approached 30km to go. Alas the peloton was motivated to set up a sprint and on the finishing circuit the gap came down rapidly. Direct Energie were pushing hard at the head of affairs, and Rowe was finally brought back before the second passage of the finish.

Nelson Oliveira after third place: I no longer have my best form

The fantastic week by Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) ended up with a third-place finish in the 30th Tour du Poitou-Charentes, closed this Friday with a 171km road stage to Poitiers, where Colbrelli (BAR) took the sprint win while local Sylvain Chavanel (DEN) claimed overall honours. The Portuguese rider confirmed his 3rd place from the eve’s ITT by resisting with the top guns (14th) on a difficult circuit around the Côte de la Barre. The four-time national TT champion adds another good result to a brilliant summer that included his national title, a great Tour de France and an excellent performance in the Olympics’ TT (8th).


He told Directvelo:


"It was a great race. I'm happy to finish on the podium, even if I expected a bit better when I came here. Both riders in front of me were simply stronger. The TT was not easy to manage, especially with the wind and the strong heat. But it was the same for all riders. From my perspective, I could have done a better TT. But I still gave the maximum. The real problem is that I'm on a downward slope. I do not have the same physical condition that I had a few weeks st the Olympics. I was not bad either, although a bit less good, and it made the difference. Now I will go to the Classics in Canada. Then I'll go to the Eneco Tour, not to mention the European TT Championship which will be a very special appointment since this will be the first for the pros.”


Injured Søren Kragh Andersen abandons while sitting in top 10 overaal

The final stage of Tour du Poitou-Charentes was again decided in a reduced bunch sprint, with Team Giant-Alpecin’s Sam Oomen finishing 16th on the stage and 10th in the final GC. Søren Kragh Andersen, who had been 9th in GC, was unable to start the stage due to injuries sustained in a crash earlier in the race.


In the stage, Simon Geschke and Sam Oomen tried to force a move, but with less than a kilometre to go a reduced peloton eventually regrouped, led by the main sprinter’s teams, to set up a final bunch sprint.


After his performance in the time trial yesterday and by finishing 16th on today’s final stage, Sam Oomen was able to move into 10th in the final GC.


Coach Adriaan Helmantel said after the stage: “It was a pretty controlled stage today with a break of 8 riders attacking directly from the start. In the local laps, there was a short steep climb with the top at 3km to go. Both Sam [Oomen] and Simon [Geschke] tried to attack on the final climb to avoid another bunch sprint, but couldn’t get away. In the end it was a reduced bunch sprint with Sam top 20.”



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