Alberto Dainese (Team dsm-firmenich): “I was the only WorldTour sprinter in contention and I had to deliver”
August 17 th 2023 - 19:06
It’s been a handful of months without racing after the Giro, but I’ve been training really well. I came here with a little bit of pressure as I was the only WorldTour sprinter in contention, so I had to deliver. It was an unfortunate that we lost Andreas [Leknessund] with his fever – he really wanted to defend his title here. This morning I said I was going to do my best for him. All the guys were fully committed to help me. It was not easy to stay at the front in the final circuit, as we were getting boxed in time and time again. I was in 15th position with 300 meters to go, so I thought it was impossible for me to win. Regardless, my speed allowed me to overtake everyone and score the victory.
I knew the shape was there, yet I was stressed over not having the space to sprint because there were a lot of young guys fighting for position in the final kilometres, creating tension and some danger. Actually, I took a bit of a break after the last roundabout to try and find a good position. I was lucky I could find a space to sprint and show the condition I have built over these last couple of months at home. I probably won’t keep this Midnight Sun jersey until Sunday, but I hope to pass it on to a teammate. Even without Andreas, we have several options like Matthew [Dinham] and Kevin [Vermaerke] who are in good shape after the Tour de France.