After a frustrating 2017 plagued with injury, Giacomo Nizzolo finally pushed the monkey off his back in the final stage at the Vuelta a San Juan, sprinting to his first victory since the Abu Dhabi Tour in October 2016.
The broad grin on Nizzolo’s face as he flew across the line said it all.
"I am super happy and the team today was great, they took the responsibility to control the race since the beginning. I have to thank the team for believing in me."
There was no plan B for Trek-Segafredo in the fast, flat circuit race after a breakaway thwarted a bunch finish in stage six, and Peter Stetina and Greg Daniel did a massive amount of grunt work to keep the breakaway contained, and one last monster pull by Daniel with nine kilometers remaining sealed their fate.
In the final five kilometers the rest of the pinstriped team swarmed the front, making sure Nizzolo was well protected, and the savvy Nizzolo – positioning in sprints always his strong suit – finished off the final kilometer to perfection.
"In the end, I found the right timing for the sprint and everything worked out pretty well. It means a lot to win again after what happened last year… Yeah, I am pretty happy. For sure this has given me high morale to keep working even harder to come back to 100 percent."
Nizzolo clinched the team’s fifth win in six days, adding to teammate Ryan Mullen’s time trial triumph in stage three and to John Degenkolb’s (2) and Toms Skujins’ victories in the Challenge Mallorca.
Nizzolo commented on the team’s hot streak:
"There's not much to say - it just shows that we have all done our homework over the winter. There is no secret; we have just done a lot of hard work, and I hope we can continue this…like forever!"