News: Two from Two for Davide Ballerini

Davide Ballerini confirmed he is one of the most in-form riders at the start of this season, by surging to victory for the second consecutive day in the Tour de la Provence (France), after a wet stage and a crash-marred finale where Alaphilippe  hit the tarmac

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News: Two from Two for Davide Ballerini

Team Deceuninck – Quick-Step  Press Release

Davide Ballerini confirmed he is one of the most in-form riders at the start of this season, by surging to victory for the second consecutive day in France, after a wet stage and a crash-marred finale. The 26-year-old Italian was unabated by the inclement weather or the tough uphill drag to the line in Manosque and launched a powerful sprint that helped him extend his lead in the general classification, ahead of Saturday’s journey to Mont Ventoux.

Just like on the first stage of the race, Deceuninck – Quick-Step played a prominent role all day, driving the peloton behind the breakaway and making sure of keeping in check at all times the escapees’ margin, before bringing back the last survivor of the five-man group just as he crested the final classified climb, Col Montfuron.

Ahead of the flamme rouge, Julian Alaphilippe and Davide Ballerini were well-placed, but a crash of another rider took the World Champion down, fortunately though without any serious consequence. The Frenchman was able to finish the stage a few minutes later, and with the incident having occurred in the closing three kilometers, he was given the same time as the winner and is now third on the GC.

At the front, Ballerini delivered a pitch-perfect sprint to see off the challenge of Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and maintain a perfect track record at his first race of the year. On top of that, he became the first rider in the Tour de la Provence’s history to score consecutive stage wins.

“When you see how this team works, you feel that you have to give your best and fight for the victory until the very last moment. Just look at their effort: they were incredible, the only team to work tirelessly at the front until the final kilometer and keep me up there. The sprint was hard, but I fought until the last ounce of energy and I’m glad I could repay these amazing guys. This win is for the team”, said Davide, who in addition to the overall standings, also leads the points classification.

Lotto Soudal Reactions

“I noticed that the peloton was already quite close with 40 kilometres of racing still to go, so I decided to attack and go full gas”, said Filippo Conca. “From that moment on, I went all out, but unfortunately I got caught at 15 kilometres from the finish. Winning the stage actually never crossed my mind as the gap wasn’t big enough and the peloton was already quite close.” Not long after Conca was caught, another Lotto Soudal youngster Florian Vermeersch put in an attack. He was joined by the American Jorgenson, but the duo wasn’t able to escape a bunch sprint.

Florian Vermeersch: “Of course, we first protected the breakaway of Filippo Conca, but at the summit of the final climb, he got caught. Shortly after the descent, I spotted an opportunity to attack. I made it to the bottom of the uphill finish, but the furious pace in the peloton made it impossible to stay ahead.”

At one and a half kilometres from the finish, Philippe Gilbert was well-positioned but had to swerve around a crash.

Philippe Gilbert: “I was in a nice position during the final kilometres, but unfortunately I had to use the sidewalk to swerve around the crash of Alaphilippe. That way, I lost a lot of speed and that was it for me. I am really disappointed as today’s finish really suited me and the legs felt good.”

Another young Italian, Stefano Oldani, managed to sprint to 8th place in the end. His compatriot Ballerini took a second consecutive stage win at the Tour de la Provence.

“My intention was to launch Philippe Gilbert for the sprint but due to the crash of Alaphilippe, we had to change plans. Eventually, I managed to take 8th place”, said Stefano Oldani.

1. Davide Ballerini
2. Giulio Ciccone
3. Alex Aranburu

24. Ben Swift
32. Matt Walls
33. Connor Swift
59. Fred Wright
92. Mark Donovan


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