Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) surprised the competition with a courageous and early sprint and could cheer in Gansingen. We talked to the likeable Italian about his victory and the challenges of a good sprint.
Tour de Souisse: What memories do you have of the third stage of the Tour de Suisse 2018?
Sonny Colbrelli: This was really an unforgettable day and a unique final spurt! I am doubly satisfied, as I was able to defeat two top-class champions like Gaviria and Sagan for once. I saw the only possibility for this in an early sprint: And it worked.
TdS: During the last climb of the day, Peter Sagan pushed the pace and some of the sprinters like Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb and André Greipel fell behind. How hard was the pursuit?
SC: I remember Sagan getting dressed and immediately lining up the others behind him. My team supported me a lot and I did not fall behind.
TdS: When you reached the home stretch, Arthur Vichot from Groupama-FDJ was still leading as a soloist. What went through your mind just before the sprint over the 300 meters to the finish line?
SC: I thought he would win if nobody did anything. That is the second reason why I started sprinting earlier.
TdS: What do you think distinguishes a good sprinter?
SC: He must be calm and composed, able to assess the situation well and choose the appropriate gear.
TdS: How important is your team for you and for the way you sprint?
SC: Very important. Winning on your own is not easy, if not impossible. I don’t ride in the classic sprint train, also because I am not an exclusive sprinter. Normally, when I finish, someone from my team helps me and leads me so that I can keep up with the first positions in the group.
TdS: Am I wrong, or do you especially like difficult and complicated destinations?
SC: I believe that every situation is very individual. For some years now, the level has been very high and many racers are heading for the final spurt, which often leads to complicated mass sprints.
TdS: And what are your plans for the 2019 season?
SC: First of all Milan-Sanremo, and then I start with the classics in Belgium. My second big goal is the Tour de France.
TdS: What victories do you dream of and what price do you want to win?
SC: The Tour of Flanders.
TdS: Many thanks, Sonny and good luck for the season!