Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was obliged to go to the podium area after the finale stage 4 of the Dubai Tour but after losing out on overall victory to Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) he would have preferred to ride quietly to the race hotel to dissipate his anger and disappointment.
Instead of retaining the overall race lead and celebrating overall victory insight of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, he had to stand on the second step and then explain what went wrong.
He revealed he and the Trek-Segafredo team decided to follow their own sprint strategy and create their own lead-out train, rather than fight for Kittel’s wheel in the hope of taking second and winning with the time bonuses. It was a brave strategy and Trek-Segafredo looked strong for much of the stage. However, Nizzolo and a teammate were too far back after emerging from the tunnel with 1.5km to go and faced an impossible task to make it back up to the front end of the sprint. He tried hard but finished sixth, and slipped to second overall in final general classification, four seconds behind Kittel.
"We did a great job all day, and then we missed each other in the finale. That's why I couldn’t be in a good position for the sprint,” he explained. “It's part of the game when you work with your teammates - sometimes it goes well like yesterday - when I got the jersey on Hatta Dam, and sometimes it goes wrong like today.
“We said we’d go our way and do our thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll learn from it and hope to improve on it next time. I didn’t want to just follow Kittel; I wanted to do my sprint. It didn’t work out.”
Nizzolo has racked up five top-three results at the Tour Down Under and the Dubai Tour but remains stuck on ten career victories. He admitted it may take at least 24 hours and flight home to Italy for him to see the good side to his early-season results.
“I can’t see the positive things for now but maybe tomorrow,” he said. “For sure I’m in good shape but I wanted to do better and fight for victory all the way to the line.”
Instead of celebrating in Dubai, Nizzolo will head home and start to think of the next goal. He is due to spend time at a team training camp before joining forces with Fabian Cancellara and Trek-Segafredo’s Classics squad for the opening cobbled weekend in Belgium. As they fight for victory at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne races on the final weekend in February.
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