Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) wants to finish his season in style at the Japan Cup, starting Sunday, October 23, and try to go for victory again. Last year, the young Italian was beaten by another youngster, Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick.Step) in a two-men sprint, and Cunego hopes to make up for it this time around.
"The Japan Cup is a hard race tailored for Damiano's capabilities," said Lampre-Caffita directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli. "He will try and finish the season with a beautiful victory." Along with Cunego, Lampre-Caffita is sending Alessandro Ballan, Marco Marzano, Morris Possoni and Patxi Vila to faraway Japan.
Another European aspirant for victory at the UCI-rated 1.1 event is Francisco 'Paco' Mancebo (Illes Balears), although the Spaniard also admits that after a very long season in which he placed fourth at two Grand Tours (Tour de France and Vuelta a España), he will also use his stay to experience the different culture and do some shopping... "The effort will be minimal as there is only one day of competition," Mancebo said.
"And we will have the opportunity to see a country with a completely different culture. That's why I volunteered for this race. I'm not interested in electronic equipment because I already have everything I need, but I might buy something unfamiliar if it comes up," he added. Mancebo will be joined by Joan Horrach, Mikel Pradera, Pablo Lastras and 'Chente' García.
Saunier Duval will also participate in the Japan Cup with Ángel Gómez Marchante, Rubén Lobato and Arkaitz Durán.