2006 Milano-Sanremo champion ready for big 2008 win
By Gregor Brown in Compiègne
Italian Filippo Pozzato is ready for the big 2008 win. After making his moves in Milano-Sanremo and this week's Gent-Wevelgem, the 2006 Milano-Sanremo champion is ready to take on Paris-Roubaix.
"We road for two hours today," confirmed the 26 year-old of Liquigas to Cyclingnews on Saturday afternoon, the day before France's big one-day race. "Yesterday we did 100 kilometres, three and a half hours."
Even if he was let down with his performance in Ronde van Vlaanderen [sixth - ed.], "Pippo" bounced back for Belgian's mid-week Gent-Wevelgem. He joined a move with Belgian's Philippe Gilbert that lasted for most of the race's finale before being snuffed out by Team Rabobank.
"Flanders was a little bit of a let down for me," he confirmed of last weekend's Classic. "I thought I would have gone stronger, but at Gent-Wevelgem I saw that my legs are still good. Gent-Wevelgem reassured me; I knew I could not lose my condition from one day to the next. So, the Flander's episode was a little distorted and I hope that tomorrow will be a good day."
Pozzato hope that the strong men rise to the top to fight out the victory in the finale of the 259.5-kilometre race from Compiègne to Roubaix. "If I could choose, it is important that there is a good natural selection so that in the finale those who are up front are those how really have the legs. So, I hope to leave Arenberg Forest [kilometre 163.5 - ed.] well and then let the naturally section happen."
He realised that the weather is less predictable. "What is there is there, it is not that we can decide how the weather should be," responded Pozzato. The Liquigas captain would prefer sunny weather, even if he has shown well in harsh conditions, like the 2007 Het Volk. "It is important that the legs are good and there is a small bit of luck.
"It is important to win and it does not matter how. Tom Boonen is dangerous in the sprint for example, but in a race like Roubaix it is possible that even Boonen can arrive tired [for the sprint]," Pozzato referred to the race tactics.
"I am usually pretty fast, but in Flanders I arrived with [Lampre's Alessandro] Ballan and he was able to beat me in the sprint. The most important thing is to be there in the finale, and then we will se how to fight for the win."
Pozzato has adapted to the Belgian roads, he is cheered on by French fans and those imported from Italy.
"I have remained in Belgium and kept training on these roads. ... I have some fans that have come up to watch the race; I hope that they have some fun and bring me good luck. .. I hope that I can finally win an important win, something that I have been lacking since the beginning of this season."