By Kirsten Robbins in San Luis, Argentina
Danish rider Matti Breschel ended the 2008 season on top of the podium at the world championships held in Varese, Italy last September. He is set to begin the 2009 season with his Saxo Bank teammates at the Tour de San Luis, held in Argentina January 19-25. According the young talent, he enjoyed the training days prior to the event and hopes to improve upon last year's breakout season in the spring classics.
"My expectations are very big this year," Breschel said. "It gave me some morale to finish the last season the way that I did, with a third place at the world championships. I've been working hard and I've been really motivated since then. My goals are the same as last year and to improve on them but they are more realistic for me this time."
Breschel will not be returning to America to defend his title in Philadelphia's Commerce Bank Classic. The 24-year-old Dane's schedule is packed with the European Classics from March through April. "It's hard to be in the same team as Fabian [Cancellara] and Stuart [O'Grady]," said Breschel regarding the double Paris-Roubaix champions. "For sure I'm aiming for all the Classics and I hope that I can take my chances when I get them."
Having Specialized as a sponsor boosts the importance of attending some American races for Saxo Bank. Breschel noted that both the Tour of California and the Commerce Bank, now TD Bank, Classic are not listed on his schedule this season. "It would be so cool to go over there and try to defend my title," said Breschel regarding his first American win in Philadelphia in June last year. "I know that I'm not going this year because at the moment I'm on the program for the Tour de France and some other stage races in Europe."
Breschel's Spring Classics campaign kicks off at Milan-Sanremo and continues with Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.