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Stage winner interview with Sonny Colbrelli (3rd. stage)

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) surprised the competition with a bold early sprint, which paid off with victory in Gansingen. We spoke to him about his win and the challenges of a good sprint.

Tour de Suisse: What do you remember about the third stage of the Tour de Suisse 2018?
Sonny Colbrelli: That was truly an unforgettable day and a unique final sprint! I’m doubly pleased, because for once I was able to beat two high-level champions – Gaviria and Sagan. I thought that the only chance to do that was with an early sprint. And it worked.

TdS: During the last climb of the day, Peter Sagan pushed the tempo and a few of the sprinters like Alexander Kristoff, John Degenkolb and André Greipel fell behind. How difficult was the pursuit?
SC: I remember that Sagan accelerated and the others immediately lined up behind him. My team really supported me, and I didn’t fall behind.

TdS: As you all reached the home straight, Arthur Vichot from Groupama-FDJ was still out at the front. What was going through your head right before the final 300-metre sprint to the finish line?
SC: I thought he would win if nobody did anything. That’s the second reason I began the sprint earlier.

TdS: What do you think characterises a good sprinter?
SC: You have to be calm and collected, assess the situation well and choose the right gear.

TdS :How important is your team for you and your style of sprinting?
SC: Very important. Winning with a solo effort is not easy, if it’s even possible at all. I don’t cycle in the classic sprint train, because I’m not just a sprinter. Normally, someone from my team helps me on the final sprint and leads me so that I can hold my own in the front positions of the group.

TdS: Am I wrong, or do difficult and complicated finishes suit you best?
SC: I think that every situation is very individual. The level has been very high for the last few years and a lot of riders jostle for position in the final stretch, which often leads to complicated mass sprints.

TdS: And what are your plans for the 2019 season? 
SC: First Milan–San Remo, and then I’ll begin the classics in Belgium. My second major goal is the Tour de France.

TdS: What victories do you dream of? What prize do you want to add to your accolades?
SC: The Tour of Flanders.

TdS: Thank you, Sonny, and best of luck for the upcoming season!


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