Rosa impresses in Strade break

09 Mar 2019

Rosa impresses in Strade break

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Strade Bianche. Siena-Siena: 184km

Diego Rosa enlivened Strade Bianche with an ambitious race-long escape which saw him in the race lead for over 100km as part of a group then in a solo break before being caught by the chasing group which included eventual race winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep).

Rosa made the early break with Nico Denz and Alexandre Geniez (both Ag2r La Mondiale) and Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ) gaining an advantage of nearly five minutes at the escape's peak. 

But as the gap started to drop, the dup of Rosa and Denz forged ahead to maintain their lead to the bunch, before the Italian went solo with 50km remaining. 
Behind, a strong lead group started to eat into Rosa's lead which was dwindling as the terrain took its toll and with 30km left, the Italian was caught by the first chase group.

Geraint Thomas, who suffered an inopportune mechanical just before the race kicked into life, and Salvatore Puccio were in the second chase group, but were unable to bridge the gap as Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Alaphilippe attacked in the move that would prove decisive. 
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Diego Rosa

Diego Rosa

“I love this race, I felt good and I just tried to give my best.”
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Diego Rosa

"I felt good and I was thinking before the race that it would be a good chance to get in the breakaway and stay ahead of the race. But the break was too small with just four riders and we never had a big enough gap so we didn’t get too far. 

“I love this race, I felt good and I just tried to give my best. I was training very hard this winter and I was sure that the work would pay off. Having a good feeling like this in the race will give me more confidence going forwards."
Salvatore Puccio in the second chase group.

Salvatore Puccio in the second chase group.

Sport Director Dario Cioni:

"Diego did well to get in the break, it was in the plan that when we hit the first section that he would try and get away. The break was a bit smaller than we expected and It was only four guys who got away and once they let it go it was hard for Diego to get back to the pelton  so he stayed in the break.

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Unluckily, one of the guys punctured and then by the time they reached the feedzone it was just Rosa and Denz, and when the AG2R guy cracked it was down to Diego to go on his own. The idea was to keep him out there as long as possible to provide a reference point for Geraint and Gianni later on. 

“Gianni didn’t have the best day, he was still suffering the effects of the crash at UAE Tour, he’s still got quite a few bruises and he didn’t feel great from the beginning. 

"Geraint felt ok, but he missed the split when the chase group broke into two, they tried hard to close it, but then the riders infront accelerated and maintained the gap. For G it was his first race since Valencia, quite a bit of time ago, and he's quite happy with how it went and he finished well on the hill before the sprint to the line."
Result

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 4:47:14
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) +2"
3. Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) +27"
4. Zdenek Stybar  (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +1'00
5. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) +1'00
12. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +2'41"

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