Italian wins Tour des Alpes Maritimes
By Joachim Logisch
21.02.2021 | (rsn) – A lot of work for nothing! That was the case at the end of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var (2.1) for the Groupama – FDJ team. With three riders in the breakaway group of the day, the French had done most of the work. But in the end Gianluca Brambilla (Trek – Segafredo) triumphed, who won the stage with start and finish in Blausasc (136 km) and with it the overall ranking of the three-day tour.
He had received the last order to attack shortly before in the last, unmarked ascent of the royal stage from his team boss Gregory Rast, who drove the support vehicle to the front of the top duo, which included Brambilla and Groupamas Valentin Madouas. “I had problems with my radio in the final,” explained Brambilla, who had previously been in the slipstream of his companion for a long time. He probably lacked information from his team about what was happening in the chasing group, in which his teammate Bauke Mollema was also. Brambilla: “Gregory Rast came up and said I should give everything I have and win the stage.”
The climbing specialist did not have to be told this request twice. With an irresistible acceleration 11.4 kilometers to go, he put it into practice. With a 13-second lead over the group around second-placed Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), to which Madouas also belonged, the 33-year-old reached Blausacs as the winner. With a five-second lead over Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) who had been the leader until then, he also won the tour.
The Canadian, who had triumphed the day before, recognized the strong performance of Trek – Segafredo. “ The y showed that they had a great team here.” However, he also struggled with the bad luck of his team. Hugo Hofstetter and Dan Marten had technical problems and were missing the follow-up work. “That was definitely one of the decisive factors in this second game,” said Woods, who saw himself as “the strongest driver on the tour”.
Three mountains of the 1st category had to be conquered on the queen’s stage. A large top group had formed early on, including Brambilla, Madouas, Rudy Molard, Bruno Armirail (all Groupama – FDJ), Geoghegan Hart and Gorka Izagirre (Astana – Premier Tech).
The y were able to get around three minutes ahead of the field with front runner Woods.
On the last categorized mountain, the three players from Groupama – FDJ increased the pace in the top group. When Molard went out of the lead shortly before the summit, Madouas attacked immediately. Brambilla and Geoghegan Hart followed suit. But the Brit could not keep up, so that Brambilla and Madouas passed the summit with 20 seconds ahead of Molard, Geoghegan Hart and Izagirre, and 53 seconds on the yellow jersey.
Woods attacked shortly before the top of the pass from the group of favorites that had dissolved. In the descent, Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premier Tech), David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ) and Mollema caught up. But their gap widened again to over a minute. In the last, non-categorized mountain, 11.4 kilometers before the end, Rast gave his protégé the okay to attack!
“It was really tough today. In the end I played my card ”, Brambilla explained in the winner’s interview, in which he also praised:“ Groupama – FDJ did a great job all day! ”But the French can’t buy anything from that!