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"Once I was there, I decided to shut down all attacks until the last km even though it made me wonder whether I still had the legs for the sprint, but it was the only way to try to win."
















07.02.2016 @ 23:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Grega Bole got his time at Nippo-Vini Fantini off to the best possible start as he took his first win in his new colours at the Italian season opener, GP Costa degli Etruschi. Having made it into a 12-rider front group on the steep Torre Segalari climb, he won the sprint and relegated Francesco Gavazzi (Androni) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) to the minor podium positions.


We have gathered several reactions.


Victorious Grega Bole: I decided to make a gamble
"I thank the whole team because they brought me exactly where I needed to be at the decisive moment," Bole said. "First they allowed me to be protected without exposing myself and then join the right action. Once I was there, I decided to shut down all attacks until the last km even though it made me wonder whether I still had the legs for the sprint, but it was the only way to try to win. The last 300 meters were long and I'm really happy with the victory and to give this joy to the team. Most of all I wanted to again have this feeling of great happiness.”


"In the end the race was tough,” he told “On the climb there was a bit of water and then the descent was wet so we had to be more careful. It went well. If I won, it is because of the team that has worked well all day and gave me a big hand.


"Yamamoto was in the break as we had decided, allowing us to be more relaxed in the group. So we had more riders at the beginning of the climb.


"When I returned from San Luis I felt very good. In the training I did at home, I felt I had so much strength. So I came here motivated and I knew that if everything went the right way, I could get a good result .

"Here I feel really good like you're at home. This team is like a family so when I am at the races I am already happy. I gave ​​a nice gift to the team.”


"We are sure to have increased the sporting level of team for this season, especially thanks to the inclusion of a new leader like Grega Bole who is among the strongest on this kind of course and can always fight for the victory. Today he was very good to have a cool head in the finale and finalize the work done by him and the whole team during the day,” manager Franco Pelosi said.


Sports director Stefano Giuliani added:

"I'm really happy with how the team worked. What we said in the morning was done in the race. A rider like Grega has been missing to complete the puzzle and make the team more competitive. In Argentina he was already very good and here in Donoratico, he won the first Italian race. Grega Bole is a great rider and when he is in form, he never misses out. It is beautiful to have him back I want also to mention Genki Yamamoto who was protagonist of another great break after the one at the Tour de San Luis. The young and talented Japanese rider is in strong growth.”


Francesco Gavazzi: This second place really hurts

"It’s a second place that hurts because I was really good,” Gavazzi told Spaziociclismo. “Last year I was strong and in the first three races I had two second places. I was hoping to start on the right foot and I did but honestly it is frustrating. In the sprint I felt good but unfortunately I was a bit late and Grega did a great sprint. Congratulations to him.


"For how I felt on the climb, Trofeo Laigueglia is definitely a race that suits me more. But even today, the wind made it hard. I like Laiguegli.  I already have two second places and it is time to win.”


Diego Ulissi fights through adversity to take third in GP Costa degli Etruschi

Diego Ulissi finished third despite lots of adversity for Lampre-Merida. Matti Cattaneo was unable to start due to illness, Ilya Koshevoy had a bad knee and Manuele Mori crashed out of the race without suffering major injuries. Nonetheless, Koshevoy and Kristijan Durasek contributed to the chase before Przemyslaw Niemiec set Ulissi up for the final attack


"I am satisfied considering that the condition is still not100%. In the team we started with five riders as someone [Mattia Cattaneo] got sick in the last few days. In the end I did my best, and that's okay. Uphill I had really good feelings. I am satisfied with my performance.”


"I would have loved to win because I was riding on my home roads andbecause it would have been nice to give LAMPRE-MERIDA the first victory of the season after a series of good results. Unfortunately, with illness and crashes, our plan for the ideal race had to be changed but we interpreted it very well as a team. 


“On the climb I had good feelings. I was strong and I gave my best. Unfortunately Bole was able to hang on and to show his quality as a sprinter in the final sprint.”


"It 'a shame we had to face the absence of Cattaneo, Koshevoy’s bad knee and Mori’s crash,” sports director Bruno Vicino said. “Despite this, the whole team has done well. We have contributed to the chase behind the break to give Ulissi the opportunity to show his good condition in the finale.

”Diego has done his utmost to try to make a selection in the lead group, showing excellent legs which were not sufficient to avoid the reduced sprint.”


Bad luck denies Southeast third win in GP Costa degli Etruschi

Team Southeast – Venezuela were protagonists and unlucky at GP Costa degli Etruschi. After a hard day with terrible weather conditions and after working in front of the group to chase the early breakaway, they were able to put Enrique Sanz, Matteo Busato and Andrea Fedi into the decisive move.


With only 4 kms to go, the plans were changed because Enrique Sanz who was one of the fastest riders in the group, had to stop due to a flat tire. With a good effort, Andrea Fedi and Matteo Busato both found the forces to end in 4th and 7th place respectively


“I’m really happy with the job of my guys who worked together as a team and were really close to getting the victory here for the third year in a row,” sports director Luca Scinto said.


”It’s a shame for Enrique Sanz who was most likely one of the fastest in the front group but at the same time I’m happy because he was able to climb Torre Segalari in the first positions.


”It was well done by Andrea Fedi who was fast altought he had a mechanical on the last climb, and Matteo Busato who helped his captains in the decisive moment. Day by day I feel that this team is strong and we will show it even more from the next race.”


"Unfortunately I had a mechanical problem on the climb and I had to stop,” Fedi told Spaziociclismo. “I rejoined them alone and when I did, I was really tired. I did the best I could and tried to anticipate because Sanz was there and he was fine and is very fast. Unfortunately, he punctured with 2 kilometers to go. Let's say that today we were all very good and it turned out badly. But with these legs, there is optimism since the season only started today.”


Bardiani neo-pro in the top 5 in first race as a professional

In the Italian debut for Bardiani-CSF at Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi, they almost got a podium spot. After a long breakaway by Alessandro Tonelli, the #GreenTeam took fifth place with Giulio Ciccone and eighth with Edoardo Zardini.


“It has been an encouraging debut for me and for the team as well,” said Ciccone. “Tonelli did a great performance in the breakaway and then we tried our best in the sprint. I think we can be pretty satisfied, we’re on a good way.”


 "I did not think I was so strong,” Tonelli told Spaziociclismo. “It was a tough race because there was a lot of wind and on this course you feel it much. In the finale I tried to attack. I had a good legs and I arrived with the best [in 11th]. It is too bad that I had no legs for the sprint. 


"At the beginning of the last climb I thought I had more leeway but it was only a minute. I've hoped and tried to attack as Boev was a bit tired.”



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