The 32-year-old Italian benefitted from excellent teamwork throughout the day with the single goal of positioning Nizzolo perfectly ahead of the final steep climb to the line in Bellegarde. It was Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) who eventually fought it out for line honours, with the former taking victory.
Nizzolo showed some excellent early-season form and was just shaded by former world champion Mads Pedersen, as they were fastest among the group two seconds adrift of the winners.
Lukasz Wisniowski, Michael Gogl and Simon Clarke were key throughout and in particular when Andreas Stokbro, Matteo Pelucchi and Sean Bennett were caught up in a crash with 6km to go. All three were able to ride to the finish line and were checked over by our team doctor, who will continue to monitor them overnight.
I feel good, I definitely didn’t think that I would have such good legs because of the preparation but in the end I was well-placed and I maybe spent a little bit too much to get in place at the bottom of the climb.
I didn’t have the confidence to go too early but in the end I manged to be top-five and I’m looking forward now to the coming days.
Gino Van Oudenhove – Sports Director
We had a good plan for today and of course with quite a few new riders on the team, to see the commitment and the work they did gives us good hope for the future. Of course the 4th place for Giacomo was a big plus and motivates us in the team very much to do even better in the future.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About Team Qhubeka ASSOS:
Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com) is a purpose-led, high-performance team, fighting to win on the world's biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka (www.Qhubeka.org) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
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Nizzolo fights for excellent 4th as Team Qhubeka ASSOS take next step