Ruben Guerreiro (Axeon Hagens Berman) won G.P. Palio del Recioto Tuesday giving his American development team the first win of their European campaign. The Portuguese rider was in the day’s breakaway and beat Michal Schlegel (Klein Constantia) in a two-man sprint at the line.
"I did not know Schlegel well, but 50 percent of me was confident for the sprint," Guerreiro said in a team press release. "It was very nice to win. This victory goes to my teammates, especially Krists Neilands, and the staff. All of them are always working hard."
Guerreiro and Neilands were part of a 16-rider breakaway that took off during the first 12 kilometres of the 143.2km race. The group gained four minutes on the field but that gap was cut in half on the day’s main ascent.
"Krists sacrificed very much for me," Guerreiro said of his teammate. "With 40 kilometers to go, I attacked. Schlegel and I worked well together until the end. Then we were each trying to drop each other."
Guerreiro and Schlegel came to the finish line together in a two-man sprint with Guerreiro taking the win. They finished 62 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Amanuel Gebreigzabheir (Dimension Data for Qhubeka) and nearly two minutes ahead of the main field.
Already a proven winner, Guerreiro won a stage and the overall of GP Liberty Seguros last March. His team manager Axel Merckx praised Guerreiro for his victory at G.P Palio del Recioto, saying, "This is one of the big Italian races in the spring.
“There were almost 200 riders on the start line, so it is very nice to be able to win a race like this in the U23 category. We are still on the right path - not only Ruben - but the whole team has been riding pretty strong. It was a great team effort and a great way to have a win.
“To see Krists sacrifice himself for Ruben all day was nice to have that effort rewarded."
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