Italian outkicks some of cycling’s biggest names to take team’s second win in as many days.
Stage three at the Tour de San Luis ended in a mass bunch finish and Trek Factory Racing’s Giacomo Nizzolo sprinted to victory on another searing hot and windy day in Argentina. Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) finished second and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was third.
“The last three or four kilometers were a little bit uphill so the speed was not so high and it was hard because everyone tried to move up. When it’s bunched up like that it’s a little crazy,” explained Nizzolo about the stage’s finish. “In the last kilometer I was 10th or 15th position with Danilo [Hondo] and Eugenio [Alafaci]. Lampre was leading the sprint and then Cavendish started with Boonen on his wheel and I came from behind and I overtook them with around 100 meters to go.”
The 175-kilometer stage was again a very hot and windy affair, and the Trek Factory Racing team had to help control an early breakaway, while keeping Nizzolo protected as echelons formed in the crosswinds.
“The wind made a lot of stress during the stage but at the end it did not make such a difference because the last three to four kilometers were uphill and we were covered from the wind. It was a side-wind all day and it was really hard; it was a tough stage.” Nizzolo continued.
Trek Factory Racing’s Fabio Silvestre worked early in the tough stage to keep the first break in check. His effort, plus that of the rest of the team, paid off in the end as Trek Factory Racing won its second stage in as many days.
“When you have a sprinter you have to help control the race and Fabio Silvestre worked hard today at the front,” explained Trek Factory Racing’s sport director Alain Gallopin. “We needed the others for the end; for the power of the sprint. All the team was very good today: Haimar [Zubeldia] and Julián [Arredondo] to take bottles and Danilo [Hondo] and Eugenio [Alafaci] to prepare the sprint for Giacomo. It was really, really good.”
A late five-rider break made a bid to escape the peloton with 25 kilometers to go and gained up to 40 seconds lead before the peloton reeled them back into the fold. A mass sprint was looking to be a certainty at this point as the sprinters’ teams began to control the front. Trek Factory Racing played the finish perfectly, waiting until the right moment to unleash Nizzolo. The Italian fast man came around Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen on the left and won by a bike length.
“During the stage the feeling was not really good because of the heat,” Nizzolo said about the race. “But in the final – especially the last five kilometers – I was feeling very, very good, and in the end it worked out for me and team. I am very happy.”