Giacomo Nizzolo is determined to swap a long list of placings and top five results for victories in 2016 and will join-up with Fabian Cancellara to target the cobbled Classics in the spring.
The Trek Factory Racing sprinter won the GP Nobili Rubinetterie in March but missed opportunities to win on numerous other occasions. His consistency secured him the red points jersey at the Giro d’Italia but he finished in the top five an incredible 16 times and finished second in sprints seven times. Two of those came in the sprints at the Giro d’Italia. During his five-year career, Nizzolo has won ten races but finished second 20 times.
Nizzolo ended his 2015 with a crash at Paris-Tours. After a month off the bike – which he described as “a month on the sofa” but also included a holiday in Mexico, the Italian is back on the bike and did his first training ride on Wednesday.
“It’s time to start thinking about 2016,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We’ve got a training camp in Spain from December 8-18 and then in early January I’ll head to Australia and ride the Tour Down Under. I’ve still got to decide between Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico but the spring Classics will have a big place in my race programme before focusing on the Giro d’Italia again.”
Nizzolo was often left frustrated by his long series of placings but was beaten by faster and more experienced sprinters. For example he was third at the Hamburg Cyclassics WorldTour race with only Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff beating him. At the Tre Valli Varesine race in Italy he won the sprint just eight seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali, confirming his ability as a Classics specialist as well as a sprinter.
“It would have been good to win more but I’m happy with how I performed,” Nizzolo argued. “I worked hard when I had to and I think I’ve planted the seeds. Hopefully I can reap what I’ve sown in 2016.”
Nizzolo will team up with Cancellara as he rides his last spring Classic campaign in March and April. Nizzolo will no doubt play a support role but also look to learn for the future, when Cancellara has retired. He also wants to win the points competition at the Giro d’Italia and finally take a stage victory.
“The Classics will be an important moment and then I’ll be chasing the red jersey again,” he confirmed. “There are more chances for the sprinters in 2016 Giro and a stage starts in Muggiò, where I grew-up. It’ll be a special moment.”