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“We were going for a stage win with TJ. Everyone was keen to do what they could to give him his chance, just like we did with Alan yesterday and Davide before that."

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling




16.05.2015 @ 02:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The longest stage of the 98th edition of the Giro d’Italia shared more similarities with the Spring Classics than the pervious stages of the Italian Grand Tour. With an uphill finish to close out the 264 kilometer day, Cannondale-Garmin rode all in for Tom Jelte Slagter on stage seven.



“We were going for a stage win with TJ,” said Sport Director Charly Wegelius. “Everyone was keen to do what they could to give him his chance, just like we did with Alan yesterday and Davide before that. I think it’s a good thing for the riders to realize that the wheel is turning and that everyone is willing to help out a teammate and that there’s a chance for everyone.”


Four riders formed the day’s escape. Initially BMC and Movistar assumed control for setting a steady tempo. With 60 kilometers still to race, Cannondale-Garmin massed at the front. The chase had begun in earnest.


“As the situation stood at that moment, the race was going to be for Michael Matthews or some of the other sprinters like that,” said Wegelius. “The gap was at about five minutes. We wanted to open up the race again to make it harder. The idea was to get the peloton closer to the breakaway to incentivize other teams to attack, which would make it a harder race earlier.”


The efforts on the front by Cannondale-Garmin saw the gap to the breakaway quickly tumble. With the frontrunners in striking distance, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo assumed control at the head of affairs at 21 kilometers.


“Astana and Tinkoff rode such a hard tempo that it kept the group together,” explained Wegelius. “It was a similar scenario was saw to the day Villella was in the breakaway. We had hoped for more attacks on the penultimate climb, but the pace was too high for attacks to succeed. The group suffered, but it didn’t split.”


A reduced bunch of around 70 riders contested the finale. Davide Formolo was the best-placed rider for Cannondale-Garmin in 15th place, three seconds behind stage winner Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida). Slagter finished three spots further back, on the same time as Formolo.


“It would have been nice for TJ to win but I was really pleased with what I saw from the team today,” Wegelius added. “I saw riders that were prepared to work for each other and general contenders that wanted to give their colleagues a chance for the stage win. That’s what it’s all about.”



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