Arctic Race of Norway. Michele Gazzoli and Christian Scaroni take 1-2 in Stage Two
Astana Qazaqstan Team takes a double success in the second stage of the Arctic Race of Norway. In the powerful uphill sprint in Hammerfest Michele Gazzoli (from Astana Qazaqstan Development Team) took a perfect win, while Christian Scaroni finished second.
“It took one year to arrive to this moment and to this win. It means a lot to me. I had a difficult year after that foolish mistake which led to a suspension. But I didn’t give up and I directed all my energy to keep on working hard, keep on training every day to be ready for the moment I am living now. I want to thank Alexandr Vinokurov and Astana for a great chance and my family and all who stayed next to me during this tough period”, – said Michele Gazzoli.
“The team did a fantastic job today. I provided some help to Christian in the intermediate sprints to take some bonus seconds, while he saw me in a good position in the final, leading me out with 300 meters. Well, it is so nice win, and I am so happy right now”, – continued Michele Gazzoli.
“Well, we could not do better. Great success for our team. In the final I started my sprint with some 400 meters to go, it still was a bit far away from the finish line, but I was able to keep my speed on and to finish second. Michele is in a great form right now and his sprint was just perfect. He started it in the right time and finished the job with a very nice victory”, – said Christian Scaroni.
“We expected the cross wind and the echelons during the day and in a moment I found myself in a good group in front. I thought we have a chance to arrive to the finish, but with some 25 km to go the second group came across us. Well, together with the teammates we continued pushing hard to keep our position in front and to prepare for the sprint where everything went just ideal. We have a great atmosphere here in the race, everyone gives his all for a common success. I want to thank my masseur Andrea who works here with me and all the staff for a huge support. Let’s see how it will be in the next days and if I could fight for a General Classification”, – continued Christian Scaroni.
“It was a very cold, wet and windy day, so all the peloton was suffering. However, we were ready for this weather and were motivated to do an active stage, aiming for a stage win with Christian Scaroni. From the start Gianmarco Garofoli attacked to break away as we knew there could be some cross wind and we wanted to have someone in front to support our leader in case of the echelons. However, finally, the group came all together to the final part of the stage and there we had Artyom Zakharov, who made a fabulous job, bringing Christian but also Michele to the front for the sprint. Well, we expected Christian in the final, and he did a very strong effort, but at the same time Michele Gazzoli made a big surprise to everyone, winning this stage. It was so nice and of course, we all are super happy with this team result”, – said Dmitriy Fofonov.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling