Team BikeExchange wrapped up Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali with a solid third place overall for Australian Nick Schultz after a fast and furious final stage in Forli.
A six-rider breakaway formed in the early stages of the race before eventually being reeled in over the final climb of the day, a select group of favourites then formed with Schultz amongst them with 10km remaining.
Overall race winner Jonas Vingegaard then attacked clear of the group alongside Mikel Honore, with the latter taking the stage honours, while Vingegaard sealed the overall.
Schultz was pipped into second place on the general classification thanks to Honore’s late attack, but the team conclude a successful five days in Italy with three consecutive third places and third overall.
“I think overall it was success, we were able to achieve three podiums on stages and in the end I finished third on GC. After a really, really tough week of racing I think as a team we can be proud, everybody did a really amazing job, in particular in supporting me, so I have to be thankful to them.
To be honest, I didn’t expect today to be as hard as it was, it was a tough day and it made it difficult to control and to sort of work out how to play the finale. But as a team today we couldn’t have done anything better, it was just the way the race evolved.
It’s a little bit of a shame to drop down to third on the GC, but in the end it’s still a good result.”
Gene Bates (Sports Director):
“It’s probably not the result we were after today, we wanted to at least keep second place and try and go for the win, but I think the positives from the week is how strong our team was in general and particularly Nick Schultz.
We came here trying to win a stage and go for the overall and we got three thirds in a row and third overall and we were very close. I think it was positive for the team this week and also a good result for Kevin Colleoni as a first year pro.
We have no regrets today, the guys did a great job, it was a very difficult stage, and they did everything that they possibly could.”
2021 Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 4 Results:
1. Mikel Honore 3:59:40
2. Jonas Vingegaard ST
3. Shane Archbold +0:19
13. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) ST
Final General Classification:
1. Jonas Vingegaard 19:03:47
2. Mikel Honore +0:22
3. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) +0:32