Moreno Moser burst onto the professional cycling scene as a neo-pro in 2012 winning Trofeo Laigueglia, Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt before bagging a stage double and the overall at the Tour de Pologne. A daring long range attack at Strade Bianchi the following year had Gazzetta dello Sport declaring him "E' un vero Moser" - "He's a real Moser" in a double-page spread. Moser wouldn't raise his arms in triumph again until last year's Tour of Austria but the Cannondale rider finished off the season strongly and is hungry for more victories, starting with a good performance at the Tour Down Under.
"The motivation is really good, the form, the shape is good as well but it's the first race so I cannot compare to the other guys," Moser told Cyclingnews on the eve of stage one. "For sure, compared to my normal shape in this period, I feel good. I think I can do a good Tour Down Under.
Moser, who enjoyed his 25th birthday on Christmas Day, is joined by four new teammates at the Tour Down Under and believes from what he's seen so far that the men in green argyle will leave their mark on the first WorldTour race of the season.
"I think this year, we have a really good team. I actually didn't know some of the new guys like Wouter Wippert, Michael Woods, Bevin… but they look really, really, strong," he said of the roster for Tour Down Under. "They can make this team stronger. Simon Clarke is a really, really good rider. He's incredible for position in the bunch and you can see he is really smart and has a lot of experience. I think we have a really good team for this race. Everyone is in good shape, everyone believes that we can have a really good Tour Down Under so we are all motivated."
12-months ago Moser was also starting his season down under, placing eighth on the queen stage of the race to finish 21st on GC. Fast forward to 2016 and Moser is aiming to build the platform for a successful season at the Tour Down Under.
"If I can do something here some and at Tirreno that would be nice as well so that's my goal. I think I can do it," said Moser who recently posted the fastest time up the Corkscrew climb which is set to decide the finale of stage 3.
"I just want to start good at this tour, if I can start good and get some results in this first race than it will be a little more easer. I can stay a little more relaxed and the team can stay a little more relaxed. "[I want] to start to win big races again, maybe not a classic but a stage in a big race. I think that's enough, I don't need to win Liège to be a great rider."
There is no return to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race for Moser, who was seventh in last year's inaugural edition, who will next head to the Volta ao Algarve starting February 17 before his "big goal" of Strade Bianchi. Following the one-day race, Moser will look for stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico, line up Milan-San Remo then turn his attention to helping new teammate Rigoberto Uran challenge for overall honours at the Giro d'Italia.
"The Giro will be the big moment of the first part of the season, the team believes we can win the Giro with Uran and they want everyone in super condition in super shape to get that big result," said Moreno who first rode the Giro in 2014.
A win down under might not receive another double page in Gazzetta, considering recent Serie A results, but the Italian paper could again be declaring Moreno "E' un vero Moser"