06 March 2016

“A big honour to etch my name on a gravel sector”

“Today it’s special because I won and I’ll have my name on a “sterrato” forever. That’s what gave me extra motivation, making me fight from the beginning. The way I won, the way the last 20km unfolded, I can look back and enjoy what I’ve achieved. This morning I thought I could make history. It’s a huge honour to have my name on a traveled road, coming off the back of a bridge being honoured in my recognition in my home town, though maybe sector seven would fit better with my lucky number! Next year I won’t ride but I’ll know that sector number six will carry my name. The young riders will see it and that makes me really satisfied.”

“Only on the finishing line I knew I had won. Stybar is a tough guy who can perform well on the last climb. I also had to pay attention to Peter [Sagan], because with him you never know. From the team car, Adriano Baffi and Luca Guercilena gave me confidence when one rider from Etixx was attacking and the other was sitting on my wheels. ‘You have to take a risk,’ they told me. I tried to drop them twice but couldn’t. Brambilla went and I tried to not leave him too many seconds, though I knew the uphill would be hard for him. Thankfully my experience paid off today. Taking a risk, you can win or lose, but at the end I won. It’s a good sign for the races to come, starting with Milan-San Remo.”