Italian builds towards Ardennes classics
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) is getting his season underway at the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria in southern Italy this weekend with the simple goal of getting some racing miles in his legs ahead of stiffer tests to come.
Fresh from a team training camp in San Vincenzo, Tuscany, Cunego admitted that he was keen to return to competitive action as he begins his build-up towards the Ardennes classics. “I want to race and rediscover the sensations that only a race can offer you,” Cunego said.
The two-day race kicks off on Saturday with a stage from Melito Porto Salvo to Chiaravalle, and concludes the following day at Piazza Italia in Reggio Calabria. As was the case in last year’s three-stage event, Cunego expects the sprinters to be to the fore this weekend.
“The characteristics of the route won’t allow me to get a result, but it will give me the chance to ride for two days at race rhythm, which is exactly what I need,” Cunego said. While the southern tip of Italy should avoid the brunt of the wintry conditions that have struck much of Europe in the past week or so, Cunego noted that the weather might have an impact on the race.
“The race could be made more difficult by the bad weather,” he warned. “The forecast is that the weather will deteriorate further, but let’s hope the temperature doesn’t drop too much.”
Cunego had initially been slated to head on to ride the Giro della Sardegna later in February, but has yet to confirm what race – if any – he will add to his programme following the recent cancellation of the event. The opening part of his season will be built around preparing for the Ardennes classics, and Cunego has also confirmed that he will forgo Tirreno-Adriatico in favour of Paris-Nice.
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