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"We came here with more of a GC team. We’re actually pretty happy that Salvatore has got stuck into the sprints as it helps keep the team up there in the rankings. He’s eighth on GC which is pretty good going."

Photo: Sirotti

SALVATORE PUCCIO

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NEWS

TEAM SKY

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TOUR DE POLOGNE

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03.08.2015 @ 22:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Salvatore Puccio narrowly avoided a mass pile-up at the Tour of Poland to sprint to seventh place on stage two.

 

The Italian checked up to avoid the initial collision which occurred in the final metres and was one of a scant nine riders to make it through before the road was completely blocked.

 

Contact between second and third-wheel riders Sacha Modolo (Lampre Merida) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) started the chain reaction after 146 kilometres of racing.

 

Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve had been guided into strong positions late on but were unable to avoid the crash on the narrow finishing straight. Both men remounted to cross the line alongside their team-mates, with the three kilometre rule ensuring no further time was lost.

 

Through the carnage Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) prevailed to take the stage victory. The Italian edged out Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) at the finish, with bonus seconds allowing the latter to retain his race lead – now pushed out to 12 seconds.

 

Stage placings also see Puccio move up to eighth overall ahead of another likely sprint stage on Tuesday.

 

Giant-Alpecin had set about controlling the peloton on behalf of leader Kittel, with Orica-GreenEdge and Katusha contributing to the pace-setting.

 

Five riders made up the day’s break but a fast pace ensured it was all back together with 18km to go.

 

 

“The guys are okay,” confirmed Sports Director Dario Cioni after the race.

 

“It was a downhill section so the speed was pretty high. It was quite packed at the front so it made it into a big crash.”

 

The Italian also shed more light on the team’s gameplan in Poland, with a GC-focused line-up waiting for the hills before hitting the front.

 

“We’re in the middle of a bit of a waiting game ahead of the climbs and then the weekend,” he continued. “That’s where the race is going to ultimately be decided. We came here with more of a GC team. We’re actually pretty happy that Salvatore has got stuck into the sprints as it helps keep the team up there in the rankings. He’s eighth on GC which is pretty good going.

 

“We’ll be much more active from the fourth stage onwards.”

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