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"Maybe my sprint was a bit too long. I saw Cavendish and I followed him. It was a headwind however and the road was a bit uphill so my sprint was not as good as I would have liked," Modolo says

Photo: João Fonseca












24.03.2014 @ 10:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After an excellent start to the season, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) was one of the favourites for yesterday's Milan-Sanremo and he seemed to be in a good position to improve on his 4th place from the 2010 edition when he arrived at the finish in the small front group with teammates Davide Cimolai and Filippo Pozzato at his side. However, the Italian opened his sprint too early and faded in the headwind, ultimately taking 8th on a cold and rainy day.


With four wins in the early season, Sacha Modolo has had a fantastic start to his first year with Lampre-Merida. Yesterday he hoped to continue his momentum when he lined up for his first big season target, Milan-Sanremo.


Having finished 4th in the race as a neo-pro four years ago, Modolo has proved that he can both handle the distance and the climbing of the race and he seemed to be in the perfect position when he was safely guided by teammate Davide Cimolai through the hectic finale.


When the sprint was launched, Modolo was the first of the pure sprinters to take off, prompting Mark Cavendish to react, and the dup went head-to-head for some time. With a headwind, however, they had hit the front too early and both faded back, with Modolo ultimating taking 8th.


"Maybe my sprint was a bit too long," he said. "I saw Cavendish and I followed him. It was a headwind however and the road was a bit uphill so my sprint was not as good as I would have liked.


"Despite the cold and rain, the legs were still good and I was fine. Usually, I can hardly finish a race in these conditions, but today I was able to eat more, and thanks to the team, I did not feel the wind at all. I was able to be where I should be, unfortunately I did not get what I wanted."


"Milan-San Remo is a race that I really like," Cimolai said. "I'm glad to be able to give my best and do everything for the captains of the team. 
I brought Modolo into position at the front of the group after the Poggio. He tried to start his sprint 250m from the line but there was no more power left in his legs."


Earlier in the race, the team had animated the early proceedings with Matteo Bono who was one of the longest surviving members of the early break.


"The race plan saidthat the team had to be alert to escape attempts in the initial stages of the race so as to allow our teammates to ride protected in the peloton. There was a group with 5 riders and I realized that the situation could be interesting so I decided to try to join them. I made it just in time and the break was good. 


"The agreement between the escapees was good, despite the cold and rain. It was har to go on the attack and think of all the kilometres that separated us from Sanremo. We would have needed three or four more members in the break in order to have a chance to reach the finish."


One of the team's captains, Diego Ulissi, abandoned the race before Cipressa.


"I did not have a good feeling from the start and the cold has only made it worse," he said. "It is too bad because I wanted to be in front to give my contribution to the team."



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