Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | Sonny Colbrelli 4th in the final stage of Paris-Nice and Ion Izagirre 7th in general classification
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Sonny Colbrelli 4th in the final stage of Paris-Nice and Ion Izagirre 7th in general classification

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NICE – NICE – 115,5 km

 

Nice, France, March 12th – Last stage of the 75th editon of Paris-Nice brought 4th place to Sonny Colbrelli and 7th place in general classification to Ion Izagirre. BAHRAIN MERIDA Team showed strong team spirit and performed another great stage.

 

A sunny morning turned into a mild and cloudy day without rain and with light wind of 2-4 km/h. Today’s final stage was the shortest but also a hard one and one to be performed with open cards and a lot of tactics. General classification was the main focus today for everyone.

 

As before, the main goal of BAHRAIN MERIDA Team was to support Ion Izagirre for a higher GC ranking and to react quickly to any chance for Sonny Colbrelli to do a sprint finish. Just after the first hour of the stage the breakaway riders made the lead of almost 4 minutes ahead of the peloton. Peloton started regrouping by Trek-Segafredo and Quick-Step riders and the bunch broke into two parts just after the climb to Col de Calaison. At the Côte de Pelite they already regrouped and the race started to get really interesting. Alberto Contador was chasing relentlessly in his style. Ion Izagirre was staying with the chasing group and tactically provoked Sonny Colbrelli to get closer by the entrance of Nice, where Sonny might have a great chance for another sprint. Sonny came really close and with his long sprint he grabbed the excellent 4th place. Ion Izagirre did anther tactically great race and proved, just how much he upgrades his form, stage by stage. David De La Cruz, a Quick-Step rider won the sprint against Alberto Contador, who failed to succeed in overall victory just by 2 seconds. BAHRAIN MERIDA Team performed a great stage again and we are satisfied with the Paris-Nice race in general.

 

“Today we had Sonny in the breakaway and in the final kilometers we knew we have a shot at winning the stage,” started Ion Izagirre’s overview of today’s race. “We are happy with the outcome, happy also for Sonny. I am satisfied with 7th place in GC also. The feelings are positive, the whole team was working really good for me and Sonny. I’m sure that the next races will be good also. It’s the first year for our team, we started from zero, but day by day, race by race, we are getting better and better. It feels like we are one big family and that is important to us.”

 

Sonny Colbrelli added: “It was a great day today. I entered the right break and I was able to resist. In the last kilometer Ion supported me and we did a hard work to close the gap, but without success. Above all I’m happy for my shape before the Milan-San Remo race”.

 

Philippe Mauduit, sports director was especially proud of the team spirit during the whole Paris-Nice race. After the last stage he commented: “When I saw on top that Sonny was still there, I said that the chance is minimal, but we have to try. I am proud of our guys, they did a great job this whole week. Our objective was for Ion to be between 5th and 10th position and we achieved that. We also wanted to win one stage with Sonny or Niccolo and we achieved that also. We are especially satisfied with the team spirit and with the work of not only the riders but also the staff, because without them, you don’t have a team. We have to keep in mind that we are a new team, we have to get used to each other, but everything is going so smoothly that I have a feeling, like we have been together for ten years. And I think we will just get better and better. So, thanks to BAHRAIN MERIDA!”

 

(Pictures attached can be used for editorial and non commercial usages only and are copyright protected – © Team Bahrain-Merida/ Miwa IIJIMA)

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