Just like Wanty-Groupe Gobert teammate Guillaume Martin, Andrea Pasqualon has benefitted from riding a debut Tour de France in the summer and claimed a win in Italy. A day after Martin won the final stage and overall at the Giro della Toscana, Italian Pasqualon reversed last year's result of the Coppa Sabatini for his first win since 2015.
The 29-year-old came out of the Tour and recorded back-to-back third places on the opening two stages of the Arctic Race of Norway. He had another third-place finish at the Tour du Poitou Charentes, adding five top-six results at the Tour of Britain as he continued to press his claims for a win. Fifth at Primus Classic and sixth on stage 1 of the Giro della Toscana, second in the bunch sprint behind the breakaway, Pasqualon didn't give up and explained on the morning of the Coppa Sabatini that he was feeling on top form.
"Today was just fantastic. This morning I woke up with a good feeling and strong legs. In the team meeting sports director Steven De Neef gave me the leader's role and my teammates wanted to commit to this job," Pasqualon said. "The team worked 100% perfect for me all day long. They chased the breakaway and put me in a good position for the sprint."
Riding with Team Roth last year, Pasqualon was powerless against Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) in the sprint but learnt from his lessons and ensured he was in the first wheels when the sprint opened up.
"In the final uphill kilometer I was ideally placed in the wheel of Colbrelli. I launched my sprint with 250 meters to go and Colbrelli wasn't able to pass me anymore," he said.
While Colbrelli launched an appeal after the race and was dejected with the result, Pasqualon had no qualms with the win and was elated to have continued Wanty's winning streak.
"I worked very hard and it was important to bring home today's victory after a lot of top 5 sprints. It was fantastic to bring my young kid on the podium. I also win the Challenge Alfredo Martini (classification of the three past Italian race days) before Martin," he added.
With his confidence sky high following the win, Pasqualon added he won't be resting on his laurels and is already planning for his next win.
"On Saturday I will work for Martin in Giro dell'Emilia," he said. "I think he will be one of the best climbers at the start. I myself want to take a good result on Sunday in GP Beghelli. But first we will celebrate this victory with the team and staff. The team spirit is great here, that is very important for me!."
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