The Italian sprinter proves he has put more than a year and a half of frustrations behind him
Giacomo Nizzolo sprinted to second place in stage three at the Vuelta a España, finishing behind Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), who has been nearly untouchable this season. Giacomo Nizzolo has not tasted victory since the end of January (stage 7, Vuelta a San Juan) and although it’s yet another ‘almost’ in a long string of second places for the Italian, the result was more meaningful after nagging knee injuries and illness have frustrated him on and off this season and sidelined him for most of the 2017 season.
“Yeah I am very happy to be back at this level,” agreed Nizzolo. “It’s been a few weeks that I have been feeling good again, since London really (Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic where he finished 3rd – ed), but I can confirm that I am back again, at a good level. It’s a shame we missed the victory, but Viviani is having an unbelievable season – he was just stronger today.”
The race was pinpointed as a day for the fastmen, but it was far from a straightforward sprint stage with constant up and downs in a proclaimed medium mountain stage. While a breakaway was well-controlled for most of the 178 kilometers when four men attacked out of the peloton and joined the leaders out front in the final kilometers, the race heated up fast.
Everything was back together with six kilometers to go, and the sprinters – ones that don’t shy away from a climb or two – did have their say in the end.
“Today was a tough one, it was not a clear sprint day with a lot of altitude meters before the final sprint, and also the peloton raced full-on in the last 40kms,” Nizzolo continued. “So the team did very well to keep me up there, and in the end, I could take the wheel of Viviani. I tried to start a bit earlier than him, but he was almost starting the sprint in the same time – it was head to head – and I got the second place. Of course, we will try again to get this victory.”