San Sebastian

Rota termine au pied du podium après une chute dans les derniers kilomètres

This Saturday, the colours of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux shone through the rain at the Clasica San Sebastian (1.WT, 31/07). Valerio Piva’s riders chose to hide in the peloton before setting the guns ablaze. A breakaway of sixteen riders was finally formed after a long battle, gaining a maximal advantage of 4 minutes. The early escapees appeared one by one through the mist, until also last escapee Romo was caught on the first slopes of the Erlaitz (3.9km at 10.6%).

Before, when covering the Jaizkibel (7.9km at 5.5%), the riders from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux gathered together in the front and Bakelants and Eiking tried to bridge to Romo. On the downhill, Lorenzo Rota chased new race leader Simon Carr with three companions. The chasers managed to join him with 20 kilometer to go, but had to keep the remaining peloton at a safe distance with the Murgil (2,1km aan 10%) still to come. The five riders were about to contest for the victory, until a disaster happened. Mikkel Honoré touched the pavement and crashed with Rota. The Italian rider was able to continue his race, but had to settle with 4th place, half a minute after winner Neilson Powless. Behind, Odd Christian Eiking sprinted to 7th and offered the Belgian a double top 10 for its first participation in the Donostia Klasikoa.

I don't really know which feeling is dominating. The team was strong and worked really well. We're very happy about the results, but we also know that a podium spot might have been possible if we had been more lucky. Of course we know thad bad luck is part of the sport. I was very confident today. the collaboration in our group was good, I didn't loose too much time on the last climb and I attacked twice downhill. We were descending at full speed when we reached the dangerous corner and I couldn't avoid the rider crashing ahead of me. My arm will have a check up in hospital, but I don't expect any problems and I'm confident that I'll feel better in a couple of days. I'll turn my focus to the Tour de Pologne, where we'll attack again with our strong team. Afterwards, I'll have a well deserved rest period in order to be ready to tackle the Italian one day races at the end of the season.

The emotions are still running through my body, because today was a missed chance to finish on a World Tour podium. Lorenzo is fast and was definitely ready to challenge his breakaway companions in a sprint. After some cramps on the final climb, he managed to join the leaders again. I told him to try something downhill, because he's a good descender and maybe this aggressive spirit pushed him across the limit. Lorenzo is a rider with not much self confidence, so we keep insisting on his abilities. I immediately recognized his talent at the beginning of the season, so we sent him to the Giro and the Tour to become stronger. He left the Tour de France in great shape and prove his talent today. I'm convinced that he'll win a big race, it's just a question of time. I have a very positive evaluation about the team today. Odd Eiking followed the best riders in the peloton over the top of the final climb and acquired a fantastic 7th place. I'm looking forward to seeing him race at the Arctic Race of Norway next week. Bakelants is in good condition after the Tour de France, but didn't have the legs to follow the first group today. Simone Petilli did excellent work for the team, just like Quinten Hermans who was suffering with back pain. Also, the shape of super helpers Jonas Koch and Kévin Van Melsen is growing. Our riders interpreted the race perfectly and were rewarded with great results!

Valerio Piva (Sports Director) Tweet

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