Close but not close enough. EF Education First-Drapac sprinter Sacha Modolo put a brave face on defeat for a second day running in the Giro d'Italia, following up his fifth place in Tel Aviv on stage 2, with second in Eilat on stage 3.
The winner of two stages in the Giro d'Italia back in 2015, Modolo said he was "more annoyed for the team than I am for myself, they've been doing a brilliant job for me, Tom Van Asbroeck put me in a great spot, but I couldn't quite finish it off.
"I got blocked in," the 30-year-old explained to a small group of reporters at the finish line. "It was all going great, and then in the last 200 metres, it went terribly.
"Yesterday [stage 2] I waited for too long in the sprint, this time I went for it just when I needed to. But then [Elia] Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) went left, and I got sandwiched by some guy from Lotto, and I had to stop short, or I would have lost it all.
"I had to brake, accelerate again, and I was coming up fine afterwards. But you don't win after something happens like that. I got second, which was as good as it could get. That's how it goes."
On the plus side, Viviani said, he leaves Israel convinced that he has shown that he can give Viviani, now a double stage winner, a run for his money.
"I can do something in this year's Giro for sure, maybe win in Sicily but if not then later on - day by day."
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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