Giacomo Nizzolo turned around his recent run of near misses in Boario Terme to claim arguably the biggest victory of his career by winning the Italian tricolour jersey. Nizzolo, who has won the Giro d'Italia points classification victory in the last two editions of the race, got the better of Etixx-Quick Step's Gianluca Brambilla in a two-up sprint.
Nizzolo made the most of his Trek-Segafredo teammates, Marco Coledan, Eugenio Alafaci, Niccolo Bonifazio and Fabio Felline, in the final lap of the 228km course as he made his move in the 17 per cent climb with three kilometres to race.
"Today the race was crazy, I had a lot of friends here cheering for me," said 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."
Having made his move on the climb which caused the final selection, Nizzolo saw Brambilla attack on the descent but was able to reel him in so the duo arrived under the flamme rouge together. As the quicker finisher of the duo, Nizzolo explained that once inside the final few hundred metres, the realisation of becoming the Italian champion sunk in, he ensured the dream became reality.
"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," he added.
"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."
The 27-year-old started the national championships having tasted victory in his last race, the GP du canton d'Argovie, in what has been a season of almosts. While Nizzolo enjoyed two stage wins at the Tour of Croatia, he was five times inside the top-four during stages of the Giro and was disqualified on the final stage after crossing the line first in Turin. Nizzolo also come close to victory at the Tour Down Under, finishing third twice, and the Dubai Tour with two second place and third to finish second overall.
While Trek-Segafredo will announce its final three riders for the 2016 Tour de France, Nizzolo is unlikely to be named in the squad having ridden the Giro. He could possibly debut his new tricolour at the Tour de Pologne next month from July 12-18.
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