Katusha duo Filippo Pozzato and Luca Paolini took in a series of training sessions on the track over the Christmas period to fine-tune their form in the build-up to the 2011 season. The pair used the facilities at the Montichiari velodrome near Brescia for three days at the end of December.
“We went above all to work on our speed and to train behind a derny with a fixed gear, which is very important for us in the winter period,” Pozzato told cicloweb.it. “In the mornings, we still went out on the road for strength work.”
Paolini explained that training on the covered track also had the additional benefit of providing them with some respite from the cold weather that struck northern Italy in recent weeks.
“With the freezing temperatures outside it was hard to do five hours on the road,” he admitted.
The covered track at Montichiari opened in May 2009 and for both riders it was their first visit. Pozzato was impressed by what he saw, although he lamented that it is the only such structure of its kind in the country.
“We needed a facility like it in Italy,” he said. “It’s a pity that, for now, there’s only one of them: it could be a good incentive to attract young riders to the track.”
Looking to the season ahead, Pozzato confirmed that the classics will once again be the focal point of his campaign. The 2006 Milan-San Remo winner will once again do battle with Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen on the Riviera and on the cobbles.
“My objective is still the same, to do well in the classics,” Pozzato said. “In particular Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, as they are the ones that are best suited to me.”
For his part, Paolini is enthusiastic about the prospect of riding for a ProTeam again after three seasons with Acqua & Sapone.
“Being back in a ProTeam means that I’m able to go to the races that mean a lot to me, such as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix or the Amstel Gold Race,” he said. “They are the races where I can express myself best, and simply being able to ride them again is already a very satisfying success for me.”