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CASSANO d’Adda, Italy (VN) — Giacomo Nizzolo didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was perhaps a little of both for Trek – Segafredo’s sprinter after yet another bittersweet second place in Wednesday’s sprint finale.
Despite 13 career Giro d’Italia top-threes, including nine times runner-up, Nizzolo has never won a stage in his national grand tour. All he could do Wednesday was shake his head in disbelief.
“We can’t do more than what we are doing,” Nizzolo said. “Karma is against me.”
With such rivals as Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step), Caleb Ewan (Orica – GreenEdge) and André Greipel (Lotto – Soudal) abandoning the race, Nizzolo looked to be next in line to finally win a long-sought-after Giro stage, but it wasn’t meant to be. IAM’s Roger Kluge attacked the peloton in the final kilometer, and after working hard to chase down a six-man breakaway, the weary peloton couldn’t control Kluge, who won just ahead of Nizzolo, who led the peloton.
“What more can I do than this? I just won the sprint, and every time I am there,” Nizzolo said. “I don’t know what I have done wrong to have this, but for sure there are worse things in life. We just need to keep going.”
Nizzolo, 27, has been knocking on the door of a Giro stage victory the past few seasons. A pro since 2011, he’s won 12 races, with one at the WorldTour level. Highly consistent, but perhaps just missing that top-end speed to compete against the Kittels and Greipels of the peloton, Nizzolo has patiently been knocking on the door for a Giro win since his first corsa rosa in 2012.
Last year, he won the Giro’s points jersey competition for the first time, and looks to have a lock on a second if he makes it to Torino on Sunday. More than that, he desperately wants to win a stage in his national grand tour.
With Thursday’s long stage capped by two passages over a short climb undermining a likely bunch sprint, followed by two climbing stages in the Alps, the Italian knows that he will have to wait until Sunday to have one more shot at securing an elusive stage win.
“We took our responsibility in the race, in the end, of course, we missed some power, but that is normal. If we did not pull before, probably the six guys in the breakaway make it,” Nizzolo said. “So we have no regrets. I have no regrets. That’s it. We have to accept another second place, but we keep our heads high.”