Richeze and Meersman each vow to try again after going close to Vuelta stage win
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Richeze and Meersman each vow to try again after going close to Vuelta stage win

by VeloNation Press at 6:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Duo had no answer to Matthews yesterday

Maximiliano RichezeBeaten to the line yesterday by the Australian rider Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge), Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma Quick Step) were each left rueing what might have been.

Richeze was best of the rest, edging out Meersman after the two came into contact inside the final 100 metres. He, Meersman and Matthews were part of a reduced size peloton, the group broken down by the tough parcours.

The trio are clearly climbing better than the pure sprinters, but will be able to compare themselves directly to them at the end of today’s flatter 177.3 kilometre race to Caceres.

“I received perfect back up by my team mates, especially Mori,” said Richeze after the stage. “He made an outstanding move in leading me to the head of the group at two kilometres to go. There I tried to follow Matthews's wheel, but there was no space and so many riders fighting, so I spent energy.

“When Matthews began his move, I tried to get back to him. Thanks to the wind I got close to his wheel, but it was not enough. Maybe if I had started the sprint just behind him I could have had a chance.”

He was recently second and fourth on stages of the Eneco Tour and previously notched up five top three placings in the Tour of Qinghai Lake. Clocking up his first win of the season is a major target, particularly if it happens in a race as prestigious as the Vuelta.

“Tomorrow [ie today – ed.] there will be another good chance for sprinters. I’d like to be protagonist again.”

Gianni MeersmanMeersman was one who was identified by commentators during the stage as one who should be watched. This year he has already notched up double stage wins in both the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie, taken the prologue in the Tour de l’Ain and also notched up the points classification in the Critérium du Dauphine.

On this occasion, though, he wasn’t able to add to his strong 2013 win tally. “It was another hard finish today,” he said. “Once again the team perfectly put me in the best position for the sprint. We took our responsibility also to catch the breakaway.

“In the last five kilometres Martin, Pieter Serry and Zdenek Stybar piloted me, then at 600 meters to go I was on the wheel of Matthews. I waited for the right moment to go and when I decided to launch my sprint Matthews also went and I couldn't really pass him.”

He said there was little else he could do, but will keep trying. “The timing for the sprint was perfect, but he was just stronger than me,” he accepted. “Yesterday I finished in fourth place, today I was third. I really would like to get a stage here for me and the team. We will see day by day and try to do our best.”


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