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“Today Sebastian showed he owns grit and personality, both very important qualities for a rider. For a 20-year-old guy, it is quite ordinary not to have the capacity to handle such a distance yet."

Photo: Colombiacyclingpro.com

CARLOS JULIAN QUINTERO

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MILANO - SANREMO

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22.03.2015 @ 21:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

When you are a 20-year-old neo-pro, just arrived from Colombia and just wetting your feet in the big leagues, tackling a Monument of World Cycling like Milano-Sanremo (293 km) could well cause a certain sense of apprehension. If that happened to Colombia-Coldeportes’ Sebastian Molano too, it certainly did not look like. It might take some years and thousands of kilometres to see him compete in Via Roma in Sanremo against giants like John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano), winner in a sprint of the 106th Classicissima ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE), but the personality and courage Molano showed in his debut in a Monument, and his very first time on such a demanding distance, bode really well.

 

At km 0, just after the race got underway in Milan under the rain, Molano was among the four starters of the day break, that finally included 11 riders: along with the Colombian, it also featured Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk), Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF), Marco Frapporti and Tiziano Dall’Antonia (Androni-Sidermec), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon18), Julien Berard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Adrian Kurek (CCC-Sprandi) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo). The peloton gave them the green light, giving up over 10 minutes and then keeping the gap under control, led by Tinkoff-Saxo, Katusha and Trek.

 

The breakaway entered the final 100 km with still 4 minutes over the bunch, and only on the Capo Cervo climb, with 45 km to go, Molano could not follow the pace upfront, while the leading group started splintering to be eventually reeled in before the start of the Cipressa.

On that climb, several contacts and crashes took several contenders out of the game, while also affecting the race of Carlos Quintero and Juan Pablo Valencia, who were still in the leaders’ group at that time.

 

“A crash happened in front of us, we were not involved but we still had to step down and restart,” Quintero told. “I managed to bridge back, but at such a pace and after 250 km I needed a big extra effort, and when they accelerated again I had nothing left to respond.”

 

Brit Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was the first man atop the Poggio, but he was quickly joined by the top group, with no one proving able to break away and anticipate the sprint. Launched in a lead position by Luca Paolini, Kristoff looked on his way to claim a repeat win after 2014, but Degenkolb’s final metres forced him to settle for second.

 

Claudio Corti, General Manager of the team that lined up the two youngest riders in the race today (Carlos Mario Ramirez and Sebastian Molano himself), praised the show of personality of the rider from Nobsa (Boyaca):

 

“Today Sebastian showed he owns grit and personality, both very important qualities for a rider. For a 20-year-old guy, it is quite ordinary not to have the capacity to handle such a distance yet, particularly in a big race like this, but today it was crucial for us to be on the attack, and he did a very good job of representing us. Quintero was unlucky on the Cipressa, but honestly those who fought for the win did have something more to show, particularly on the long distance”.

 

From tomorrow, Monday, the Team will be in action at the Vuelta a Catalunya with the first stage, Calella-Calella of 191 km.

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