Ryan Christensen ended the Gran Premio Industrie del Marmo with mixed emotions. He’d just succeeded in wrapping up the KOM classification, something which was met with high praise from Bruce Biddle. But he was also left to wonder what might have been as a mechanical late in the race halted a possible podium finish.
RC: First of all congratulations on today, taking the KOM, but I gather there was success with a bit of misfortune in the final few kilometres?
Ryan: Thanks very much! Yeah it was a day with mixed emotions for sure. Winning the KOM is a great feeling but I was targeting the podium more. There were 2 that distanced us on the last climb and there were 6 including myself left to contest the final spot. With 5 km to go on the descent I came round a high speed corner and hit an exposed man hole cover. It was a brain lapse not to jump it but that’s just bike race for you.
RC: Tell us about your objective for the day. Were you in the move with the impression that it could go all the way to the line, or was your presence in the break there to look after your teammates?
Ryan: The day started off to set teammate Luke [Mudgway] up for the final sprint which suited him well! We had Alex [West] to make sure he was positioned well on the climbs and Brad [Leitch] to find the EB. I was to watch a rider from Colpack who from previous races had shown he was on form.
RC: Tell us about the course itself, and what kind of race it was out there.
Ryan: The course was a small lap then followed by a big lap. We weren’t expecting the break to go until we completed around 40 km or the 2nd small lap but I saw an opportunity to put it into the gutter on a crosswind section around 15km in and a group of 11 pulled clear and once crested the Marble Mine climb around 7 more bridged the 1 min gap to us. The break was big but almost every team was represented except Colpack and Astana so we all worked to make it stick.
RC: How did your break function together?
Ryan: The break sat steady at a time gap at around 2 min to 2 min 30 sec most of the day until the last lap where we stretched it out to a maximum 3 min 20. Australia had 3 riders and Dimension Data had 2. Great Britain had 1 and the rest were made up of riders from Italian teams.