Modolo ends his season on a high at the Tour of Hainan

Sacha Modolo ended his 2015 season on a high by winning the Tour of Hainan in China, taking the first stage race victory of his career and giving Lampre-Merida a 29th and final win of the season.

Modolo raced for 94 days during 2015, starting at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January. He failed to leave his mark in the Spring Classics but bounced back to win two stages at the Giro d’Italia, winning in Lido di Jesolo and Lugano. During the summer he was linked with a move to Etixx-QuickStep but eventually decided to stay with Lampre-Merida for two more years. He likes to fight for sprint victories but can also survive on the climbs, with his climbing ability helping him win the Tour of Hainan.

“It’s the first time I’ve won the overall classification in a stage race, I’d never done it even as a junior or amateur, it’s a totally new feeling and so makes me really happy,” Modolo said as he prepared to head home to Italy and finally enjoy his off season.

“I’m proud to have pulled off what initially seemed a little pretentious. Fortunately the team helped me a lot during the race and we pulled it off.”

"It wasn’t easy,” he explained to Gazzetta dello Sport. "During the final stage we came under attack right from the start but my teammates did a great job. When [Andrey] Zeits attacked on the two final climbs I went with him. Of course that hurt my legs for the final sprint but at that point the overall win was what counted the most.”

Modolo was looking to enjoy his end of season holidays before thinking about 2016.

“Winning at the end of the season gives you something extra that helps you enjoy the winter and start the new season with extra motivation and determination to be up there again,” he said.

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