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High expectations for Italian race
Cannondale is sending three aces to the Tirreno-Adriatico, including Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso and Moreno Moser. The three riders will attend the Italian stage race to with the goal of capturing important results for the team.
A UCI WorldTour event, Tirreno-Adriatico opens with a team time trial on March 12 in Tuscany and a closes with an individual time trial on March 18 in Marche. For Sagan, Basso and Moser, there is opportunity for the Cannondale team to be among the protagonists almost every day.
"This is a key moment in my season. Tirreno-Adriatico is a challenging competition and a delicate phase in view of the Classics; Milan-San Remo being first," said Sagan, winner of two Tirreno-Adriatico race stages in 2013 and one in 2011. "My first target will be stage wins, many of which are desirable. The second is the improvement of condition - I want to finish the race better than I started."
"Stage races are my favorite and suited to me, so I have the confidence to do well" Basso said. "The opportunity to challenge many strong GC riders is a push, and I want to be in the front when the going gets tough. I am a work in progress, but I am riding at a high level. Tirreno-Adriatico is not just a step on the road to the Giro; it's a race where I want to generate important results."
"Riding a high level competition such as the Tirreno-Adriatico is a goal in and of itself. The desire to perform well and, why not, take a win, is strong but not a stress," said Moser. "I think the best way for me to attend the race is to live day by day - I don't want to target one stage or another. I just want to be ready maximize all my chances. General classification is not a goal for me right now. I'm thinking about the stages."
If Sagan, Basso and Moser are the three strong leaders, the other five riders of Cannondale Pro Cycling's selection are no less so - Oscar Gatto, Maciej Bodnar, Kristijan Koren, Paolo Longo Borghini and Alan Marangoni were each selected for their skill and strength to deliver the right results.
"We have strong ambitions for this important race and we selected a solid team to target our goals. The role and chances of Sagan are clear, as was seen last year, and from Basso, I expect a top level performance. Moser could be the surprise and our hidden card. We have many opportunities, starting from the team time trial," said team director Stefano Zanatta, who will lead the team with Biagio Conte and the support of coaches Sebastian Weber and Samuel Marangoni.