Giacomo Nizzolo is quickly finding back his sprinting form as he finished in second place in the long 237-kilometer stage three at the Tour of Croatia Thursday. In only his second opportunity of the season, Giacomo improved on his fifth place in stage one and is knocking on victory's door, a good sign for the rest of the week.
An eight-man breakaway led for most of the race, but a headwind quickly brought the leaders back into the fold in the closing kilometers. Gregory Rast, Marco Coledan, and Kiel Reijnen contributed to the chase, and all was together for the local technical circuit of 4.5 kilometers.
"Today I was very tired, and the stage was very long and tough, but at 50k to go I asked for the guys to pull anyway because we had nothing to lose," explained Nizzolo. "In the end, we almost won!"
With narrow streets and numerous tight turns to navigate in the final local lap, it was hard to maintain position or move up once ground was lost. This was terrain for Giacomo Nizzolo, who thrives in tricky finishes, and he was in prime position for the final kick to the line.
"I woke up very, very tired this morning," repeated Nizzolo. "I can say the feeling was like the third week of a Grand Tour. Obviously, I have been out of racing for six months, and the first thing I lost is the ability to recover. I was very tired during the race, and yet we almost got the victory. We always believe, and this shows that we must never give up. We will try again!"
During the race, Eugenio Alafaci and Julien Bernard were caught up in a crash. Alafaci was taken to the hospital for further analysis while Bernard, scraped and bruised, could finish, but lost time in the finale.
All photos ©Bettiniphoto