Viviani wins as Grenadiers conquer crosswinds

11 Feb 2022

Viviani wins as Grenadiers conquer crosswinds

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Tour de la Provence - Stage 1 » Istres › Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, 151.8km

Elia Viviani continued the team’s momentum after taking sprint victory on a thrilling second day at Tour de la Provence.
 
The Italian finished off a superb team performance by raising his arms, taking his first victory of a second stint with the team.
 
The Grenadiers worked hard to split the race apart in the crosswinds with 85 kilometres still to race. The team’s acceleration saw a huge split in the bunch, with Viviani, Filippo Ganna, Luke Rowe and Richard Carapaz in the lead group.
 
With no other established sprinters present Viviani was in the box seat, and Carapaz buried himself late on to keep the race together, before Ganna helped shut down a key move from Maciej Bodnar.

Luke Rowe then timed his lead-out to perfection, dropping Viviani out of the final corner to take an emphatic victory.
 
Ganna also remained in the overall lead by four seconds following his prologue victory on Thursday.
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Reaction

- Elia Viviani

"It was not an easy flat stage because of the wind. We moved really well and we have some experienced guys from the Classics like Luke Rowe. When we saw we had four in front, and also Richie with us for the GC, we thought it’s good and we kept pushing all day. When we saw there weren’t any other sprinters in the front (group) of course we were happy about that. I felt a bit of pressure but the guys did an amazing job. Ganna closed the gap on Bodnar which was a dangerous attack in the last few km. Then Luke Rowe did a perfect lead-out for me. Thanks to the whole team for their great job today.
 
"We had some tactics for today. The first was attack in the wind, and then once we’d seen the finish line the guys wanted to know from me what I wanted for the proper lead-out. It’s what we talked about in the last 10km, how to approach the final few metres.
 
"I finished the season really well last year and that’s important. For sure I’m really happy to be back with team INEOS Grenadiers. It’s really important for a sprinter winning at the start of the season. From Valenciana we knew I had a good condition and then coming here to Provence with a big goal to win the first race of the season."