French ITT Champion finishes runner-up for less than a second in the race’s sole stage against the clock.
Rémi Cavagna got off to a great start Tuesday afternoon, when the “Race to the Sun” scheduled a 14.4km individual time trial around Gien, setting the fastest time at the checkpoint after averaging over 47km/h in the first kilometers of the stage. In the second part of the course, which included a small hill, the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” continued to tap out a solid tempo, caught his two-minute man and stopped the clock in 17:34, a fantastic time which sent him straight into the hot seat.
Unfortunately, Rémi was bumped into second place just minutes later by Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) for a frustrating eight tenths of a second, missing out on what would have been his first victory of the season and the chance to don the prestigious yellow jersey at this Paris-Nice debut.
“Of course, I am disappointed because coming into the race my goal was to win this stage and I was very close of doing that. Wearing the Paris-Nice yellow jersey was one of the dreams I had growing up, and it’s a shame I couldn’t do it for such a small margin. At the same time, I am proud of what I did today and getting to show again my beautiful jersey. I produced a strong ride and to be on the podium of a World Tour ITT it’s still something”, Cavagna explained at the finish. “I don’t know if there will be any other opportunities for me to have the yellow jersey, as a tough stage awaits on Wednesday, but we’ll keep the motivation and see what we can do.”
The 25-year-old Frenchman was one of our squad’s three riders in the top 15, together with Yves Lampaert (9th) and Mattia Cattaneo (15th), helping the Wolfpack take the lead of the team classification.
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