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Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) celebrates his victory in the Tour de Suisse stage 5
Italian sprinter set for debut Tour de France
Lampre-Merida's fast man Sacha Modolo is set for a maiden appearance at the Tour de France this year and the 27-year-old recorded a confidence boosting win at the Tour de Suisse ahead of the Grand Depart in Leeds on July 5.
A crash marred finish brought down Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) among others and it was the Italian claiming the win in Büren A.D. Aare ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano).
It was Modolo's seventh win of the year in his first season with the WorldTour team and his first on Swiss soil.
"With the team managers, I had studied the finale and we saw that it was necessary to reach the final corner in the first positions," Modolo said. "That would be the crucial moment and so it was. My teammates did a good job to keep me protected and bring me onto Sagan's wheel. [Andrea] Palini did a great job as we approached the sprint and then Ariel Richeze was fantastic. He did everything perfectly.
"Yesterday I already said that I feel very good and that I could go into this stage with optimism."
Modolo won a stage in his first race with the team — stage 7 of the the Tour de San Luis in January — but had been sidelined after crashing out of Paris-Roubaix. He proved he's back to near his best though as he recorded a debut WorldTour stage win.
"I knew I could aim for the victory," Modolo said. "I rode with great determination and the desire to taste success after a couple of months without any racing. This win gives me great confidence for the Tour de France."