Bais and Rivi show their combativeness, but crashes frustrate the team sprint chances
34th Clásica de Almería
Puebla de Vícar – Roquetas de Mar (183.3 km)
The prediction of a volata in the Avenida Juan Carlos I of Roquetas was fulfilled, almost a tradition in the Clásica de Almeria; a sprint phenético and a little crazy for a final of race where the wind appeared, some tension arose and the big group was cut between crashes and a high pace. European champion Giacomo Nizzolo won. Unfortunately the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team could not play the trump card of Luca Pacioni because of a crash in the final part of the race. Manuel Belletti, 25th, was first at the finish.
The men in blue, however, were among the great animators of this edition of the Andalusian race, especially through two active riders Samuele Rivi and Davide Bais in the search for the breakaway. Rivi tried it from the start, but his first attempt did not succeed. Bais, on the other hand, did manage to join a quintet, eventually a sextet, which was caught 100 kilometres from the finish after riding for 80 kilometres in the lead. They were never more than 3:30 minutes ahead.
With the neutralization of the breakaway and the existence of a lot of ground still to go, new movements took place at the head of the bunch, a phase in which the riders of EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team were again in the fight with Lorenzo Fortunato. This time Samuele Rivi managed to feed a breakaway together with Ibon Ruiz (Kern Pharma), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos) and Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani), a quartet whose margin ceiling was in the minute. Rivi and Zoccarato would still insist on their adventure for some kilometres to be definitively neutralised in the last 37 kilometres.
“I’m happy with the performance. We had the mission to be present in all the movements that could happen in the first kilometres and we did our best to achieve it. At the start there were a lot of attacks, I tried it for the first time without success and once the breakaway in which Davide rode was neutralised the race entered a phase of calm where several riders started to try it. On a steep climb, I launched myself and we ended up consolidating a quartet. We didn’t quite manage to open up a gap, but Zoccarato and I pushed until the last second”, explained Samuele Rivi.
Once this second breakaway was caught, the peloton moved on to the preparations for a sprint in which several formations provided work and control. In a phase of the race in which the group was racing at more than 70 km/h with a strong side wind, there were some crashes that broke up the group and, as far as EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team’s interests were concerned, prevented Luca Pacioni’s speed from being counted.
“He was going very fast in a stretch where the wind was blowing. There were a lot of nerves in those moments, the finish line was very close. There was a sudden braking and then I crashed. Unavoidable for me. I’m fine now. A bit sore from the blow, but nothing more. Just a bit of soreness. All I have to do is think about the next objectives”, concludes Luca Pacioni.