Giro dell’Emilia: Strong Performance Sees Roche Claim Fourth Place30. September 2017, San Luca (ITA) — Road Team
Nicolas Roche showed his strength and form to battle to fourth place in the tough one-day Italian race, Giro dell’Emilia
Roche was part of a select chase group behind solo winner Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) and made his intentions clear with a late attack on the final climb to the finish.
Earlier in the 223.3km race, a seven-rider breakaway formed and gained more than seven minutes on the peloton, and eventually swelled to nine riders when a chase group made the junction.
However, the peloton picked up the chase and brought the group’s advantage down to 3’50” after 90km of racing.
The gap stabilized for the next 50km before coming down to two minutes with 40km to go, as the race entered the first of four laps of the finish circuit and five ascents of the San Luca climb.
The breakaway began to split and attacks were launched from the bunch to create a leading trip with 30km to go and a peloton rapidly closing in.
Inside 20km to go, the race came back together and Roche was well-positioned along side Ben Hermans, and Alessandro De Marchi who hovered at the rear of the reduced peloton.
Visconti launched his winning move 16km before the finish line on the second-to-last lap and eventually gained 30 seconds on the chase group behind.
De Marchi led the chase on the descent and run into the final climb to the line with 3.5km to go and on the ascent, Roche held his ground, positioned in the front ten riders.
As the group began to split and Visconti looked set to take the win, Roche attacked in the final 600 meters but was overtaken by Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) just before the line.
Roche settled for fourth place and Hermans crossed the line in tenth place.
Quotes from the Finish line
“It was a good test after the UCI World Championships and before Il Lombardia. When Giovanni Visconti went, I thought he could maybe stay away. Bahrain Merida had a really strong team and they did a smart move by sending him up the road. It took a long time for teams to react and once he opened a gap, it was too late. He did well to keep it up as it was a long way out. Then Alessandro De Marchi took control of the chase in the last few kilometers when the crash happened. The team did a good job to position me well for the final climb. I hung in there when Vincenzo Nibali and Gianni Moscon went. I was happy with how today went. The climbs in Emilia are the climbs I enjoy, 2km and steep, just the way I like them. I was a bit worried doing it five times in a row. But the way the race went we did a steady pace and then flat out on the final climb, so the racing today suited me. I’m feeling good ahead of Il Lombardia.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“The race went well. We decided to stay calm and let the other teams control the race at the beginning and not let any of the big teams go in the breakaway. Seven guys and then two more went away but there weren’t really any dangerous riders. We worked well behind with Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team and ORICA-SCOTT. There were a lot of teams working. Unfortunately, we lost Dylan Teuns on the second circuit lap when he had a mechanical problem. He was feeling good and was planning on make a move. Visconti went on the next lap and Alessandro De Marchi tried to follow but came back. Teams eventually started to chase but then the crash of Esteban Chaves slowed the chase a bit. Alessandro, Ben Hermans and Nicolas Roche all looked good and it was good to see Nicolas up there in the end. He tried to anticipate the sprint and he did a good job. It is definitely a good sign for next week for Il Lombardia. I saw a focused, motivated team today which is important.”
Bologna > San Luca (223.3km)
Top 3: 1. Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), 2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), 3. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 4. Nicolas Roche, 10. Ben Hermans,