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“People think I’m a sprinter, but it’s not my feeling. During the last years I grew a lot, I improved my resistance especially on the short climbs. This is why I attacked to select the group - I didn’t want a sprint....

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BARDIANI CSF FAIZANE

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CHRISTIAN MAGER

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DIEGO ULISSI

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EDOARDO ZARDINI

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FABIAN WEGMANN

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IAM CYCLING

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JARLINSON PANTANO

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LINUS GERDEMANN

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MATHIAS FRANK

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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OMAR FRAILE

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ROBERTO FERRARI

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SONNY COLBRELLI

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STÖLTING SERVICE GROUP

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TEAM NOVO NORDISK

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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29.02.2016 @ 00:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having settled for a frustrating second place in the Trofeo Laigueglia, Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) got his first 2016 victory when he came out on top in a very wet edition of the GP Lugano. The Italian joined a six-rider group on the penultimate climb and then beat the Lampre-Merida pair of Diego Ulissi and Roberto Ferrari into the minor podium positions in the sprint.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Victorius Sonny Colbrelli: I am not a sprinter

Bardiani-CSF has broken the ice in 2016 thanks to Sonny Colbrelli, today’s winner of Gran Premio Città di Lugano. It was great performance of the Italian rider and his teammates who supported him in the best way during the entire race.

 

“This victory is the culmination of a great performance by the entire Bardiani-CSF,” said Colbrelli. “We knew today was a very good chance to win and we were really motivated to take it. We rode with a winning strategy, everything was perfect even if the day was really hard with cold and rain”.

 

“Since the beginning I had good feeling and the motivation to forget the second place of Laigueglia wasa big push in my mind. During the race my teammates supported me a lot to save enough energy to make the difference in the finale. We managed the finale as we wanted and when the race exploded, I had to take my chances.

 

“People think I’m a sprinter, but it’s not my feeling. During the last years I grew a lot, I improved my resistance especially on the short climbs. This is why I attacked to select the group - I didn’t want a sprint. The hardest moment of the race was the final kilometer when the small group behind me, Ulissi and Pantano was really close. Ferrari was there and he’s really fast. I had only one choice – to push hard until the finish.”

 

“This victory is a big boost of confidence in view of the next important events of our calendars such as Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and then the Belgian campaign. We have the confirmation that we’re on the right way and, most importantly, we can forget the not positive 2015 season and just look ahead,” added Colbrelli.

 

Edoardo Zardini fractures four vertebrae in bad crash in Lugano

It was a bittersweet Sunday for Bardiani-CSF in Lugano. Besides the happiness for Colbrelli’s win, the #GreenTeam had to deal with the injury suffered by Edoardo Zardini. The Italian rider crashed at high speed with 45 kilometers to go while he was facing a descent. Zardini heavily hit his back on a wall and was immediately transported to the Lugano Hospital.

 

Exams showed four broken vertebrae (4, 5, 6 and 9). Zardini will spend the night at the hospital with his family and during the next hours will be examined by the Lugano Hospital neurosurgeon to evaluate and decide, together with the rider and team management, how to face the recovery. At the moment, the prospect for Zardini is not a short break.

 

New updates will come in the next days.

 

Diego Ulissi and Roberto Ferrari come up short against strong Colbrelli in Lugano

The podium of the GP Lugano is mainly painted in blue-fuchsia-green colors, however on the higher step there isn’t a LAMPRE-MERIDA athlete: Ulissi was 2nd and Ferrari 3rd.

 

LAMPRE-MERIDA controlled the breakaway before Ulissi tried to change the development of the race, attacking on the climb of Cadro but the attack was neutralized with 22km to go.


The last lap became crucial for the result of the race and Ulissi was once again the main protagonist: he attacked on the Cadro climb and on the last hill of Castagnola, forming a trio with Colbrelli and Pantano.

Ulissi was aware that Colbrelli was too fast for him in a sprint and, considering that Ferrari who demonstrated very good condition, was coming from behind, he preferred to be passive, waiting for the team mate to join the trio.
 

However, Ferrari made the comeback when Colbrelli had already launched the sprint so Ulissi tried to compete with him. He obtained the 2nd place, just ahead of Ferrari.

 

"We were always present in the race and our riders showed a condition that made ​​them very competitive,” sports director Simone Pedrazzini said. “Unfortunately some details of the race meant that we were not rewarded and did not allow us to take the victory. 


”The intention was to make the race hard. Colbrelli was very good to resist Ulissi’s attacks. We also found excellent feedback from our fastest rider, Ferrari, who was in the first part of the small group on the last climb. Unfortunately, he got back to the leader a few meters too late because in the leading trio Pantano was aiming for the podium and he kept up the pace while Ulissi was passive, waiting for the return of Ferrari.”

 

Jarlinson Pantano confirms excellent form on tough day in Lugano

Jarlinson Pantano was very active in the Lugano race.  He was present in many attacks throughout the day, and was then in the middle of the fight for victory at the finish. 

 

“It was a very hard race.  The circuit and the weather conditions made it all very demanding,” Pantano explained.  “We came with a good team, and I knew I could rely on great support.  In the last kilometers, I was in a group of three off the front, but unfortunately a few riders bridged up before the finish, and I ended up fifth in the sprint out of a small group.  That’s a pity because it was very difficult to keep track of the whole picture.  In the end, I am happy with my performance in this tough race.”

 

“We witnessed a very hard race today,”directeur sportif Marcello Albasini confirmed.  “The conditions were tough, but everyone had to face them equally.  We were well prepared and brought a good team, as the result proves.  We were active and also well represented at the end with Pantano at the head of the race.  Too bad that that small group was able to bridge from behind, so that he was “only” able to manage fifth.”

 

 

The GP di Lugano was the first race of the season in Switzerland.  And Swiss locals like Mathias Frank had to contend with the weather, too. 

 

“It was a very cold and wet affair.  In the course of the race, my SRM told me it was only 4 ° C. These conditions were just a bit too extreme for me, so in the last lap I just had to let the best go.”

 

Omar Fraile again among the best in tough GP Lugano

Lampre-Merida did most of the control work from the peloton before they decided to become active on the 2nd last lap of 34km's. Bardiani and the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders were the two teams who would respond to the moves of Lampre. The break was quickly caught when the attacking started and a new dangerous 5 rider move went clear with 1.5 laps to go. Basque rider Omar Fraile was part of the attack which also included Ulissi, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani) and Damiano Cunego (Nippo).

 

The 5 aggressors rode away to a 30 second lead before eventually being caught at the foot of the final 2 climbs of the day. There were then numerous attacks over these last 2 climbs which came with just 14km to go before the final descent to the line. Ulissi, Colbrelli and Pantano got away on the final climb and Fraile and Anton were part of a select chase group just behind the leading trio. 

 

As the leaders descended onto the finishing straight, the chasers just about made contact and then the sprint opened up. With a few meters head start on the rest, Cobrelli took the win. Fraile and Anton did well to show they were two of the strongest riders on the day by finishing 7th and 9th respectively.

 

”It was a very hard day, raining and only 3 degrees Celsius all day. My sensations weren't too good in the cold but in the end I had some strength to make the important selections. In the final sprint I had nothing left to give, the cold had taken everything from me. I can feel I am close to where I need to be,” Fraile said.

 

Sports director Oli Cookson added.:
 

“The day started off with Jay Thomson waking up ill, and so unfortunately he could not take the start. With Jay set to ride Paris-Nice in the coming weeks it was not worth the risk.

 

”The plan for the race was to ride for Omar and Natnael Berhane and then also to see how Kristian Sbaragli was going. The main racing started when Ulissi attacked with 2 laps to go. Omar rode across with a few other guys. Androni then pulled it back together. Omar and Igor then went away again on the last lap, with the same group of guys and it was clear they were strongest group on the day.

 

”Kristian was really good today and he almost made it back to the select group, on a normal day without weather like this it would have been a different race. In all, it was a good tough race for the boys and we can be happy with the way we rode.”

 

Fabian Wegmann with solid 11th place for Stölting in Lugano

The 184.9-km Gran Premio Città di Lugano (1.HC) was dominated by low temperatures just above freezing point and continuous rain. Only 45 riders finished the race in which Christian Mager and Linus Gerdemann showed themselves with attacks and Fabian Wegmann took the 11th place.

 

Christian Mager and Linus Gerdemann bridged to the front together, but at the next passage of the finish the peloton was only 20 seconds behind Mager, Gerdemann, Serghei Țvetcov and Artem Nych. On the next lap Gerdemann had to surrender to the weather and abandon the race, the remaining three were caught 50 km from the finish.

 

Despite suffering a crash during the race, Fabian Wegmann finished in 11th position 1’16“ behind the winner. The remaining Team Stölting Service Group riders had to give up because of the cold and rainy weather.

 

"Quite happy with my 11th place 2day #GPLugano especially because of a crash and these bad weather conditions @TeamStoelting," Wegmann tweeted after the race.

 

No result for Team Novo Nordisk on wet day in Lugano

Team Novo Nordisk took the start line on Sunday for Switzerland’s Gran Premio Città di Lugano. Widely known for its formidable weather conditions, the 186-km 70th edition did not disappoint, with merciless rain and 4°C temperatures besetting the riders for much of the race.

 

Team Novo Nordisk’s Joonas Henttala (FIN) and David Lozano (ESP) finished with the second group, 5:42 behind Colbrelli. 

 

“It was a tough race with incredibly cold and wet weather,” Henttala said. “It was fast right from the start, and the 1-2km climbs and wet, technical decent made the race very difficult. We could have done better, but it’s only the start of the season, and we’ll have a lot more opportunities in the coming weeks.”

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