Gasparotto 5th in a weird sprint stage
Bielsko – Biala, August 8th2018 – UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salt Mine Wieliczka is great backdrop to our stage 5 start. The 152km later riders finished in the twin cities of Bielsko – Biala. On the stage that didn’t look like it will finish with bunch sprint, it played out to be sprint, but with mix of sprinters and GC riders involved in the battle for top spots. Gasparotto was positioned well all 3 laps around the final city and he finished 5th, just in last meters missing the podium spot as he was overtaken by two pure sprinters. Top two spots were taken by the same riders as yesterday, Kwiatowski and Teuns.
Tristan Hoffman confirmed that it was hard to predict what kind of stage this will be: “This morning when we talked we asked ourselves if this is a sprinters or climbers stage, it was somewhere in between. In the final it was a stage for GC guys, and Gasparotto picked a good wheel (Kwiatowski), and out boys did a good job to bring him right there, at the end he lost the wheel and finished 5th. Of course we would love to have him on the podium, but overall our team had a good race.”
Enrico Gasparotto analyzed the stage: “When we saw that Cofidis rider is in the breakaway and his teammate is only 15 seconds behind the overall leader we realized it could be a small group sprinting. When we entered into the circuit to do laps (23km to go) we realized it will not be a normal sprinter’s stage. It was even more difficult as it was always slight uphill with head winds. Sky was positioned really well, but we were as well, with the help of my teammates, Cortina, Padun, Bole and Novak. They did great job in last 5km. In last 2km I stayed on the wheel of Kwiatowski who’s coming from Tour de France and is really strong. At one point, just like yesterday I thought I could be on the podium, but from behind Battaglin and Ackermann, pure sprinters and those guys had one pedal more then me. Anyway, before the stage my idea was to gain some seconds on the GC and with this stage the only was the bonus points, and I was close. I’ll stay focus for tomorrow and day after, there will be big battles. I’m really confident, my legs are good, I fell god and I’m happy. My father in law is happy because of yesterday’s result so I think he’ll be happy today as well. As long as family is happy it’s all good.” – finished Gasparotto on the light note with the smile.
Tomorrow’s stage is the shortest but the most mountainous. The 129km from Zakopane to Bukovina resort will probably make it more clear who’s contender for the GC.