Kim Andersen, Trek-Segafredo's head directeur sportif at the Giro d'Italia, rued a lost opportunity for his rider Matteo Moschetti on stage 3, after the sprinter lost out as a result of a questionable last-kilometre manouvre by rival Italian sprinter Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
Viviani's move into the left hand side of the road and into the path of Moschetti in the finishing straight allegedly caused the 22-year-old Trek-Segafredo rider to slow down at a crucial moment in the bunch sprint – this after all the sprinters had already had to slow once and then regain momentum as a result of a chicane in the final 500 metres.
Speaking before the commissaires' decision to relegate Viviani was made public, Andersen told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad that Viviani's manouvre was "clearly a foul."
However, others disagreed, with Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) – awarded the stage afterwards and who therefore benefited the most from the relegation – saying the jury's subsequent verdict was "extreme." Gaviria insisted that Viviani remained the real winner.
Rightly or not, as a result of the verdict and Viviani's relegation, Moschetti moved up to fourth on the stage. But Andersen argued that the real issue was that any chance of fighting for victory for Moschetti on his Grand Tour debut had long since evaporated.
"For us it was clearly a foul on Moschetti," Andersen told Het Nieuwsblad. "Matteo loses all his speed due to the move of Elia."
Asked why he did not lodge a protest, Andersen replied "It makes no sense that we will go to the jury. If Elia is declassified, Matteo will be fourth."
Despite the setback, Moschetti is, in any case, showing considerable promise in what is his first full year as a professional at WorldTour level and first Grand Tour.
Already a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos last year, when he was racing with Trek-Segafredo as a trainee, the Italian has taken second in one stage of the UAE Tour and fourth in the GP Denain this season. Last year, when with the Alberto Contador- and Ivan Basso-led Polartec-Kometa squad, he won the ZLM Tour overall as well as a stage and the overall of the Tour de Normandie.
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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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