XVI Istrian Spring Trophy
Stage 3: Vsar-Oprtalj (161 km)
“We’ve been close to victory and I’m sure working like this the first one will come soon.” The manchego Isaac Canton speaks and his words condense the spirit of this Saturday for the Kometa Cycling Team. The Madrid team was again in the ointment through Stefano Oldani, who finished second in a day in which the Austrian Felix Gall rose to the lead after winning with a few seconds of margin over a dozen riders among which was the Milanese Alberto Contador Foundation. Oldani is now fifth in the standings, 14 seconds behind Gall.
A third day in the Croatian routes really frenetic, with many attempts to escape but none really serious. The arrival in Oprtalj was presupposed fundamental, even more after the day of Friday in Labin, and several formations were employed thoroughly in avoiding the leaks and suffocating the revolutions. “The team did an impressive job again, really impressive,” thanks Stefano Oldani.
“We’ve been trying to be in the cuts all day because you couldn’t let a breakaway get to the final climb. Personally I felt very comfortable and maybe I spent so much that at the end of the day I accused him of being later with Stefano. But I am happy with all the work of the team and on a personal level I feel that I have taken a step further,” says Canton, who reached the sixteenth the finish line, 40 seconds from the winner.
The presence of two riders from Team Sunweb in the final climb, Gall and Florian Stork was decisive in the evolution of events. Oldani explains: “They started to attack, alternating. Many attacks. None of them really left at all. I made three or four progressions and I chose not to insist, because I couldn’t work for the rest of the guys in the group. At 300 or 400 metres I made a new acceleration, but the leader came after me. The truth is that I’m happy for this new top ten, but the fundamental thing is that we still lack the victory we deserve. Today could have been achieved. He had good legs. But Sunweb played very well with two riders”.
The Instrian Spring Trophy concludes this Sunday with a fourth stage that will connect Pazin with Umag over 156 kilometers. The last 72 kilometers will be developed in a circuit to which it will be necessary to complete three laps and presents a succession of steeps between Plovanija, Buje and Juricani that can stimulate the offensives and abort the options of a massive arrival. “A lot of teams are going to play the sprint card, of course, but we’re going to try it again,” Oldani concludes.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)