Liberty Seguros-Wurth has several options for tomorrow's Amstel Gold Race, including sprinter/all rounder Angel Vicioso. The Amstel is one of Vicioso's favourite races, and he is hoping to use his condition to good effect. "I am good, I've been training a lot, doing a lot of hours behind the car and I believe that I am in the condition to do a good race," he said on the eve of the race. "It is not a question of saying that I've come to win, but I have confidence in my possibilities."
Vicioso will be one of the team leaders for the race, a rare opportunity for the rider who is often working for others. "The Amstel is the best for me, because it's a race of elimination, people are there without attacking, and the selection always just comes about naturally. It is a style of racing that I love, to always be in front. On the other hand, the Fleche Wallonne is different. It is played out on a narrow road where you finish where you start. Finally, Liège is more demanding, with longer climbs, though it's not bad for me."
He hopes to have better luck than last year, too. "I punctured with 15 km to go when we already had a very select group of approximately 25 riders. Jörg Jaksche gave me his wheel, and unfortunately, we could not chase back on."
This year, Vicioso is more optimistic of a good result: "Yes, because I'm 29 years old and I'm sure that I am the right age to won one of these races. If I am good, I don't have to be afraid of anybody. Besides, this year I finish my contract, although for sure I have never raced thinking about it. I don't want to say that I am in my best period, but I believe that I have never climbed so well."
As for riders to watch, Vicioso is picking the usual suspects."The most important are Bettini, Rebellin and Boogerd, who transforms in the Amstel. Manolo Saiz always has said to us that in this race, it is necessary to look at Boogerd, because he knows it very well and knows where the selection is made. The key to ride well is to save your strength and not to spend anything up until the decisive moments.
"We have a big team, better that we have ever had. Last year already it was very strong, and we put three riders in front in the last 20 kilometres, but this year we are stronger."
Liberty Seguros-Würth for Amstel Gold Race: Alberto Contador, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Jörg Jaksche, Andrey Kashechkin, Koen de Kort, Marcos Serrano and Angel Vicioso.
Live coverage: Cyclingnews will be covering the 41st Amstel Gold Race live, beginning at 10:00 local time (CEST)/04:00 EDT (USA East)/01:00 PDT (USA West)/19:00 AEST (Australia East).