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Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
Italian Champ Filippo Pozzato starts Tour of Britain with eyes on Worlds, Paris-Tours, Lombardia
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) starts the Tour of Britain next week to build his form for the World Championships and the grand season finale. The Italian Champion hopes to co-captain the Italian team at the Worlds and take win number five for his country.
"I've had a great season, but I lack the win that counts," Pozzato told Cyclingnews. "I hope I can first do something in Paris-Tours and then I will decide what I need to do at Giro di Lombardia. I want to take it one step at a time and do things right."
Pozzato took the first step this season with a win in the Belgian one-day classic E3 Prijs on March 28. He also won a stage of Driedaagse De Panne and finished second in Paris-Roubaix.
He won one of his dream races at the end of June, the Italian Championships, and last week's Giro del Veneto.
"A 'successful' season requires a big win, the Italian championships went well. A great season would be if I win another one or two races, and clearly if I win Paris-Tours or Lombardia it would be the icing on the cake."
Pozzato won a stage and finished third overall the last time he raced the Tour of Britain three years ago. He could be encouraged mid-race, September 14, when national team director Franco Ballerini makes the nine-man selection for the Worlds team.
Defending Champion Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego, Ivan Basso, Stefano Garzelli, Luca Paolini and Pozzato should take six of the spots. Marzio Bruseghin, Matteo Tosatto, Michele Scarponi, Mauro Santambrogio and Giovanni Visconti are in the running for the other three spots.
Worlds will be the next race for Pozzato after Britain. He has been training at altitude in Livigno, Italy, with Garzelli and Paolini. He returns home on Wednesday and then leaves for the start of stage one, in Scunthorpe.
Pozzato first competed at the Madrid Worlds in 2005, and helped Italy win with Bettini in 2006 and 2007. He missed out on the selection for Varese last year.