On Thursday Andrea Pasqualon sprinted to a redeeming first season victory in Coppa Sabatini (1.1, 28/09). Seven riders formed an early breakaway and rode to a maximum advantage of 6 minutes. With 10 kilometers to go they were caught by the chasing pack. Wanty-Groupe Gobert believed in the chances of Andrea Pasqualon, who finished 2nd here last year.
The Italian was brought to the sprint in ideal circumstances by his teammates. This year Andrea could change the result. In the sprint he was able to beat Colbrelli, Gavazzi and Ulissi in order to take his first 2017 victory, his first one in the Wanty-Groupe Gobert colours. With this win Pasqualon extends the impressive victory series of the team, which has closed 7 wins in the last 9 days. Guillaume Martin finished 7th and raised his arms when he crossed the finish line.
"Today was just fantastic. This morning I woke up with a good feeling and strong legs. In the team meeting sports director Steven De Neef gave me the leader's role and my teammates wanted to commit to this job. The team worked 100% perfect for me all day long. They chased the breakaway and put me in a good position for the sprint."
"In the final uphill kilometer I was ideally placed in the wheel of Colbrelli. I launched my sprint with 250 meters to go and Colbrelli wasn't able to pass me anymore."
"I worked very hard and it was important to bring home today's victory after a lot of top 5 sprints. It was fantastic to bring my young kid on the podium. I also win the Challenge Alfredo Martini (classification of the three past Italian race days) before Martin."
"On Saturday I will work for Martin in Giro dell'Emilia. I think he will be one of the best climbers at the start. I myself want to take a good result on Sunday in GP Beghelli. But first we will celebrate this victory with the team and staff. The team spirit is great here, that is very important for me!"
Coppa Sabatini - GP citta di Peccioli:
1. Andrea Pasqualon
2. Sonny Colbrelli
3. Francesco Gavazzi
7. Guillaume Martin
41. Frederik Backaert + 0:41
63. Xandro Meurisse + 1:12
64. Simone Antonini
65. Fabien Doubey
67. Marco Minnaard
86. Danilo Napolitano + 2:31