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"In the end, though, there was no justification, I made a wrong decision, and we cannot change this, we cannot go back, so now we must look ahead."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing








19.05.2015 @ 19:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

No upsets, no post-rest day blues.  That was the pre-race script.


However, what was supposed to be a predictable flat stage with a bunch sprint at the end was turned up-side down when four men from the original five-man breakaway rode into the final kilometer with enough time to play a game of cat-n-mouse in the fight for the stage win.


Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF) snagged the unanticipated victory from the breakaway group as the peloton stormed into the technical finish 18 seconds later where Giacomo Nizzolo won the sprint for fifth.


“Today was fast all day,” Fabio Felline explained at the conclusion of the stage. “It was very strange that the breakaway made it to the final, since every day it has been so controlled all the time. I am not happy for Giacomo, the team was good, and working for him  – it’s a pity as it’s a missed opportunity.”



After a very difficult opening nine stages at the Giro d’Italia the peloton saluted the less-difficult parcours with no apparent big dangers, and the general consensus seemed to be to let the sprinters have their day. 


The lack of help from the GC teams in the last half of the race left the work to the sprinters’ teams and Lotto-Soudal put in the lion’s share of the work, with Trek Factory Racing again lending a hand.


Fumy Beppu was the early worker for Trek Factory Racing around the halfway point of the race, and later Kristof Vandewalle and Calvin Watson began to pull at the front, throwing all their effort into the chase.


The gap to the five antagonists appeared well controlled. With some sixty kilometers to race it held at a manageable 2 minutes 45 seconds.  And, at 23 kilometers from the end it was a reasonable, and chasable, 2 minutes 25 seconds.


But in the final 20 kilometers everything went south.  With a tailwind assisting the breakaway and a poor concerted effort amongst the sprinters’ teams the escapees maintained a healthy lead; at one minute’s gap with some five kilometers to still pedal they had time on their side, and with one kilometer to go enough in hand to not worry about a late catch.


Trek Factory Racing director Adriano Baffi admitted that a mistake was made, a combination of underestimating the strength of the breakaway group and waiting too long:


“I can say that I am disappointed.  At the end, I didn’t calculate that these riders were so strong after 200 kilometers and very motivated. I made a wrong decision to wait with the idea to put the pressure on Greipel’s team and try and isolate him for the sprint. 


“At 40 kilometers to go and [the gap’s] three minutes, normally everything is under control. I can say now, looking back, that it was a mistake. Giacomo is disappointed, of course, but for him it also made sense to wait. In the end, though, there was no justification, I made a wrong decision, and we cannot change this, we cannot go back, so now we must look ahead.


"Giacomo was very good today after the rest day, and we lost a good opportunity. Now we must look ahead, the mistake was there, but now we must look to Friday and nothing more.”


Giacomo Nizzolo grabbed some worthy points at the finish to keep his nose in the game for the points jersey.  



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