Lampre-Caffita rider Giuliano Figueras is looking forward to the GP Città di Chiasso on Saturday, February 26, followed by the GP di Lugano on Sunday. "I must say that the two cities of Chiasso and Lugano bring back incredible memories," he said. Figueras won the World U23 Championship in Lugano in 1996, and the GP Chiasso twice in 2000 and 2003.
The winner of the 179,9 km-long race with start and finish in Chiasso, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi), will not be defending his tile, lining up at the Clasica de Almeria in Spain on the same day. Figueras is confident: "I am feeling fairly good; I had good legs at last week's race in Haut-Var where I finished 10th," he said. "Saturday's race is a difficult circuit and it always seems to be very cold on this weekend of racing. Unfortunately I really suffer in the cold so I am hoping for good weather!"
As for Sunday's UCI rated 1.1 race from Lugano to Biasca, totalling 157 km, Figueras recalls the circuit to be fairly similar to the World's of 1996. "I would like to confirm my good form before leaving for Tirreno-Adriatico and then Sanremo". Joining him at the two races for Lampre-Caffita will be: Salvatore Commesso, Giuliano Figueras, Gerrit Glomser, Andreas Matzbacher, Evgeni Petrov, Michele Scotto d'Abusco and Patxi Vila, with Gilberto Simoni taking Ballan's place at the GP di Lugano on Sunday.