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“It was controlled all day by Sky and also Orica GreenEdge for Albasini since they knew he had a good chance to take the jersey. Unfortunately, the last climb was too much for Giacomo, which is not surprising because it was a sma...

Photo: Trek Factory Racing








29.04.2015 @ 20:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Tour de Romandie first road stage was a tough 168 kilometers with four categorized ascents totaling 2579 meters (8461 feet) of climbing.


With Team Sky controlling the race from start to end, the day’s two-man breakaway had little hope to pull off a surprise and at the bottom of the final category two-rated Col La Vue des Alpes they were easily caught.


The attacks began immediately and Riccardo Zoidl jumped with an early move. But the GC favorites were not letting anything out of range and by the top of the six-kilometer rise a large group crested together.


“I was feeling good today and at the beginning of the last climb there were some attacks and I thought that with the big guys watching each other I could maybe take an opportunity,” explained Zoidl about the final climb, the Col La Vue des Alpes. “Maybe that cost me a little because with 500 meters to go to the top I had to go really, really deep to stay with the group.”


From the crest 17 kilometers remained and Orica GreenEdge and Etixx-Quick Step turned their attention to a sprint finish, keeping a tight rein on the 49 riders that still persisted of the 142 starters. 


In the sprint, Michale Albasini (Orica GreenEdge) outkicked everyone to take the win and also claimed the leader’s jersey.  Riccardo Zoidl finished safely in the leading group in the same time for 34th place.


“Our tactic going in was to protect Riccardo for GC and Giacomo [Nizzolo] for the stage,” explicated team director Alain Gallopin after race end. “It was controlled all day by Sky and also Orica GreenEdge for Albasini since they knew he had a good chance to take the jersey. Unfortunately, the last climb was too much for Giacomo, which is not surprising because it was a small group in the front.


“It was really important for Riccardo to not lose time today, and that was the main goal. I told him to look for attacks in the last climb and see what may happen and in the beginning he tried to follow, but then when there were so many from Sky and Movistar there I just told Riccardo to stay calm and save energy. At the top, he was close to the best and was he was fine in the downhill. With Riccardo, I am satisfied today.


The Tour de Romandie is the final preparation for Trek Factory Racing ahead of its bigger goal the Giro d’ Italia. Five members of the team attended an altitude camp in the Sierra Nevada ahead of Romandie, and Gallopin pointed out that sometimes the first days back from the mountains are often a struggle:


“Sometimes for the guys who come down from the mountains it’s difficult to come back at first. For Giacomo it was not easy today, but he is on the plan for the Giro [d’Italia] and it should be less difficult for him the next two days.”



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