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"In the final km, 4 riders also escaped our group so i had to settle for 13th position. The sensations were very good but I just missed that right moment that would have given me the result."

GIRO DELLA TOSCANA

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JOHANN VAN ZYL

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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28.07.2014 @ 13:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After a disappointing performance in the GP Industria, MTN-Qhubeka bounced back with a solid showing in the Giro della Toscana. Kristian Sbaragli narrowly missed a top 10 result in the hard Italian one-day race.

 

The Giro della Toscana ran its course today and although the Italian one day race had to take somewhat of a back seat to the La Course and final Tour de France stage, the racing was still of the highest order. Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) was able to reign supreme and took out the race win ahead of Jerome Baugnies (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and  Roman Maikin (Rusvelo)

 

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had an eventful race with both Dennis van Niekerk and Johann van Zyl making the main break of the day. Kristian Sbaragli was again in the mix and would eventually finish in 13th position.

 

The team raced a lot better today," Directeur Sportif Kevin Campbell said. "We had 2 riders in the break and Kristian was in the mix right till the end. Youcef [Reguigui] rode well in support of Kristian and Dennis and Johann were both strong in the break. We’ve shown a lot of improvement since this event last year, but we still need to learn to finish off the races properly.


"It was quite a good ride today," Van Niekerk said. "The break took forever to go and eventually at 60km into the race there was a group of 7, including myself, that went. 10-15km later Johann and a few other riders joined us to make it 15 riders in front.

 

"With 3 laps to go we were caught and everyone in the break was totally finished, we ended up finishing a few minutes down on the winner. We can leave this race with a lot of confidence for the upcoming races though. I am really looking forward to getting a good result in this last part of the season."


"My legs felt good today again," Sbaragli said. "When the break was down to just a 20 seconds lead and 3 laps remaining, I rode across the gap with a few other guys.

 

"At one point we were only 12 guys left in front and then Adam Yates (Orica GreenEdge) went really hard on the climb and split the group in 2. I was in the 2nd group of 6 riders and we were left to chase the leaders who had 15 seconds on us. We weren’t able to close the gap before a chase bunch of about 20 guys caught us with 3km’s to go.

 

"In the final km, 4 riders also escaped our group so i had to settle for 13th position. The sensations were very good but I just missed that right moment that would have given me the result."


"It felt great to be back racing again and I definitely felt much stronger than before after doing some solid training at home for the past month," Van Zyl said. "Dennis and I both got into the break which took an age to go. The Italian national team controlled the race from behind.

 

"When we hit the the circuit the race broke apart. I was caught on the 3rd lap and dropped on the 4th. Kris was in the front group and got a solid result.

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