Team LottoNL-Jumbo and the rest of the peloton were powerless to Michal Kwiatkowski and his escape trio in Milano-Sanremo today in Italy. Kwiatkowski, broke free with Julian Alaphilippe and Peter Sagan to hold off by five seconds the fast-chasing peloton with Bram Tankink, Jos Van Emden and Enrico Battaglin.
Spaniard Juan José Lobato was due to sprint on the Via Roma, but he lost contact with the others on the Cipressa.
"Until the Poggio it went well,” Battaglin said. “The descent was hard but I could follow. After the descent, Van Emden took me to the front, but then I knew I had no legs to sprint anymore."
"Enrico was good in the first group but Lobato wasn’t," added Sports Director Addy Engels.
"It was not certain that Lobato could conquer the Poggio. Despite his improvement in Tirreno-Adriatico last week, he was not good enough.
"We certainly didn’t have a top favourite, but you hope for a great result regardless with Lobato or Battaglin. Finally, we ended up with three men in the first group on the Poggio. We expected Battaglin to be there, and it was a good surprise to have Bram Tankink and Jos van Emden.
“With his team-mates, Battaglin had a good chance for a good result. Especially if Tankink and Van Emden brought him to the front, he can throw himself in the sprint. Unfortunately, he was not good enough to sprint so we lost our chance for a result."
Strong Van Emden
"Van Emden and Tankink rode above expectations," added Engels. “Bram has done so before, but after Paris-Nice, there was a question if he could hold it.
“Jos has been racing for many years and this is the first time he rode to the finish in the first group. That is promising for the races to come. Unfortunately, we are talking about Milano-Sanremo, a big race, and we left it without a result. "
"I tried to bring Enrico forward, but when I went, he said no,” said Van Emden. “I knew that he was broken. For me it was good that I was in the first group at the finish, I'm happy. We didn’t sprint, and there is no result, but for myself, I am satisfied with it. It’s a nice ending, though I’m reminded of my second place in the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, which leaves a sour taste in my mouth. At least I'm going with a good sense back home. Now let’s go to the Flemish classics. "