Team High Road is hoping to cover all of its bases for the upcoming Classics opener, Milano-Sanremo. Taking on the daunting 298 kilometre challenge this Saturday will be former U23 world champion Gerald Ciolek, Bernhard Eisel, Roger Hammond, George Hincapie, Kim Kirchen, Andreas Klier, Thomas Lövkvist and last year's ninth place finisher in Sanremo, Vicente Reynes (formerly of Caisse d'Epargne).
"We haven't got a single leader we'll be working for 100 percent, rather we'll be keeping a look-out on all fronts," team sports director Valerio Piva said. "Last year Gerald did very well in his first participation in Sanremo, placing amongst the top 30. He was in the front group over the Poggio climb and there at the finale," Piva continued. "This year, therefore, it's reasonable to expect the same or something more from him."
Lövkvist's just finished Tirreno-Adriatico with a promising third place overall, and he, along with Hammond and Hincapie will be attentive to follow any breakaways on the Cipressa and Poggio, according to Piva. "Bernhard [Eisel], like those three, will be trying to go with the moves before Sanremo itself. Vicente was ill during Paris-Nice but he is now doing a lot better, so we expect him to be present in the finale."
Piva feels that the extra kilometres tacked on will help the sprinters' teams keep the race under control, saying, "They'll have a little more margin to reel in the breakaways after the Poggio, and will want to use it."