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“For the rest between sickness, and Jasper [Stuyven] stopping to be ready for the Classics…of course I expect more of my team here and the focus was a top 10 for Riccardo, but he lacks experience in the tactical aspect."






30.03.2015 @ 02:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The 126.6-kilometers final stage was short, but the eight local circuits contained a stiff category three climb each lap and made for a punishing ending to an already harsh and hilly week of racing.


At race end, a decimated peloton arrived to contest the finish – only 31 riders in the front group ­–  after Movistar pushed an insistent pace in a last-ditch attempt for Alejandro Valverde to steal the overall.


However, race leader Richie Porte (Sky) was glued to Valverde all race; Team Sky quickly snuffed Valverde’s late anticipated attack on the final uphill and the consolation prize was all the Spaniard could net as he won the reduced bunch sprint to leapfrog from fourth into second place overall.


Riccardo Zoidl had a rough day as he was feeling the effects of gastroenteritis that has been rifling through the peloton. He gritted his teeth and held on to finish, but dropped in GC from 18 to 22.


In the end, that made no difference and held little meaning as director Alain Gallopin explained when he summed up the tough week of racing for Trek Factory Racing where the team raced hard but failed to reach its goal in the WorldTour event:


“We came here with not our strongest riders, we have our strong guys in Criterium International and then scheduled for Pais Vasco [April 6-11]. Our best chance was the queen stage on Thursday when we had Riccardo in the breakaway, and I am a little bit disappointed to not win that stage, because it was a big opportunity. 


“For the rest between sickness, and Jasper [Stuyven] stopping to be ready for the Classics…of course I expect more of my team here and the focus was a top 10 for Riccardo, but he lacks experience in the tactical aspect. He showed, though, that he was strong enough. With small luck we could have won a stage here, and that would have changed everything for us.


“Some guys here are preparing for the Giro d’ Italia so at the end the week what we have is not super, but we don’t come away with nothing.”



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