Procycling - - DEBRIEF -

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.

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