Giacomo Nizzolo capped off the work of a motivated and spirited Trek-Segafredo team (Marco Coledan, Eugenio Alafaci, Niccolo Bonifazio and Fabio Felline) in the Italian Road Race Championships Sunday to win the prestigious tricolor jersey.
“Today the race was crazy, I had a lot of friends here cheering for me,” exclaimed a jubilant Nizzolo. “I have to give a big thanks to the guys, they did a super job for me today. At the beginning I didn’t feel good, but at the end I was really motivated on the final climb.”
The 228-kilometer race ended with four laps of a 20-kilometer circuit that included a short, steep climb (300 meter and 17%) three kilometers from the finish.
The last time up the sharp climb proved instrumental. Trek-Segafredo used the last of its horsepower and led Nizzolo to the foot of the uphill where Nizzolo took the race into his hands. Nizzolo was the first to attack, soon followed by the acceleration of Oscar Gato, which made a selection of five riders by the top.
Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quick Step) attacked on the descent, and only Nizzolo was able to make the bridge; the two riders arrived to the finish to play a tactical two-up sprint that was easily won by Nizzolo, clearly the faster of the two Italians.
Nizzolo: “Marco (Coledan) made a very strong pull into the the last climb and stretched out the peloton and I attacked the climb. We were five at the top of the hill and then Brambilla attacked on the downhill and had a gap.
“I went across to him and we were two, and I pulled until the final kilometer. It was then that I realized this could be the right day. Then in the sprint, I won. It is really, really, really an important race for me and I will enjoy the next days and the next year.”