wanty-Groupe Gobert’s plan at the Tour de France in 2017 and 2018 could be termed a ‘look at me’ strategy. They made every break they could and basked in the exposure delivered by the leading TV camera moto. Yet behind the indefatigable efforts of doomed cannon fodder like Yoann Offredo and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck came hard results from Andrea Pasqualon. At last year’s Tour, his first grand tour, he recorded four placings between 10-20. He bettered that this year with seven top 10s on flat stages at the French race. In fact, the only flat days where he was outside the first 10 were stages 1 and 18. But if the 30-year-old escaped your attention, that was because he never finished higher than sixth.
This has been the best season of Pasqualon’s eightyear career, in which he’s yo-yoed between ProConti and Continental teams. He had three wins before the start of the 2018 campaign. Now he has seven. In late May, he won on top of the Côte de Cadoudal in the GP de Plumelec. A week later he won two stages and the GC at the Tour of Luxembourg. Among assorted placings he was also fourth at EschbornFrankfurt, sixth at Brabantse Pijl and fourth at the GP Denain. Currently, the Italian is the highest placed ProConti rider in the UCI’s World Ranking. So what type of rider is he? Well, he can hold his own on totally flat finishes but he finds another gear when the race finishes with an uphill sprint. In other words, he’s another Sonny Colbrelli – the rider he beat to win the Coppa Sabatini last year.