Exceptional day for Giovanni Lonardi and EOLO KOMETA. The Italian rider took advantage of the perfect work of his teammates, with up to four riders of the team with him in the last kilometres and the launch of Mirco Maestri that left him in the lead inside the final 100 metres. The victory went to Philipsen (Alpecin), with Lonardi third.
With the honey on the lips, with the anger of seeing it so close, but again with the feeling of having done the best possible job to achieve it. EOLO KOMETA was on top form in the fourth stage of the Tour of Turkey, fighting for the victory and on the verge of getting it in the sprint finish. Andrea Pietrobon, David Martin and Mirco Maestri led a Giovanni Lonardi who launched the sprint, and was really close to the victory, finally third in the photofinish.
The team protected its sprinter in the final part, looking for the best position, and leading the peloton once the final kilometre was passed. First on the wheel of UAE, then Maestri himself, launching Lonardi, everything went perfectly. But the strength of Philipsen, badly placed but able to come back in the final metres, deprived the Italian cyclist of a triumph that he had been so close to and that he will surely fight for again in the remaining days.
Giovanni Lonardi: “It was a tough stage, we got to the sprint after a hard day, and we managed to pass almost all the team-mates on that last climb 10 kilometres from the finish. Afterwards, the team worked exceptionally well, it’s a pity that I was passed in the last 15 metres by Philipsen and Dupont, but we were really close”.
Jesús Hernández, sports director: “Incredible, the team has been incredible. In the first kilometres we were very active looking for the breakaway but it wasn’t possible. Then it was time to protect Lona and the communication was fantastic between all the teammates. The result is what we deserved for that work. I am very proud of all the riders, their commitment and attitude. This is the line we must continue and despite the third place, which always leaves you wanting more, I am satisfied”.