It was an exciting photo finish in Aalter, Belgium for RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK’s Giacomo Nizzolo as the 23-year old Italian just squeezed out the win ahead of Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) for stage 5 of the Eneco Tour. All week Nizzolo was part of the finish line action, taking the third spot on stage 4 and today picking his line to the finish to earn the narrow victory in his first WorldTour win.
Nizzolo: “The final was really chaotic, like every sprint in the Eneco Tour. The team did a good job keeping me safe and I’d really like to thank them for their support. In the end I managed to find a good spot in the last kilometer. I think I was in tenth position between the red kite and 500m to go. I launched my sprint at 300 meters which is still far, but I managed to stay in front. I thought Roelandts had won. I returned to the bus angry and frustrated but then I saw the photo finish and I was happy again!”
Nizzolo started his sprint from a long way back and hit out solo on the left side of the course. He was chased down by Roelandts who thought he had it, but a finish line photo showed Giacomo’s wheel just a few centimeters ahead for the win. Last July Giacomo Nizzolo won the general classification in the five day Tour de Wallonie, another solid victory for his growing palmares.
Team Director Demol: “It’s praise worthy what Giacomo did. We don’t have a proper lead-out here, but Giacomo is actually at his best when he has to search his way for himself. We had passed the finishing circuit once before, so he knew what to expect: roundabouts and roads suddenly narrowing down. I told the guys via the radio that they had to do all they could to bring him to the last two kilometers. From there on, he was on his own and he did a wonderful job.”
Nizzolo: “My shape is really going up right now. I came here with an ok condition but it’s improving. Yesterday it was good but today I really had good legs. I’m very happy with this win and I’m looking forward to my next races of Hamburg and Plouay.”
The stage was 184.6km/115mi beginning in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. A four-man break was caught early with 25km still to ride. Chaos ensued with Lotto-Belisol and Omega Pharma-QuickStep eager to control the pace of the drive home, and the speeds ramped up through the final series of roundabouts.
Dirk Demol: “He believed in it, that’s clear. After his third place yesterday, he took confidence and he won. He went from far and it was really close, but he showed some guts today!”
Saturday’s stage is a 17.4km/10.8mi individual time trial in Ardooie, Belgium. Tom Boonen is the current race leader.