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Italy hails the next Moser generation

Gazzetta dello Sport celebrated Moreno Moser's victory at the Strade Bianche race by crowning the Cannondale rider as the next great of the Moser family.

"E' un vero Moser" - "He's a real Moser" the Italian sports newspaper headlined a double-page spread on the race, revealing how 30 family and friends had traveled from Palu' di Giovo in the Dolomites to Siena to cheer Moreno to victory.

Until now Moser was famous for his 'fuciliata' - a late attack, made famous by Francesco Moser's rival Giuseppe Saronni. But his aggressive long-range attack to win Strade Bianche and his ability to hold off a pursuit by big-name rivals, reminded many of the way Francesco Moser attacked alone to win Paris-Roubaix and many of his other career victories.

Moreno Moser played down the racing similarities with his uncle but admitted they have similar characters. He was born on Christmas Day 1990 and so is still only 22. He was the youngest rider to finish Strade Bianche and the first Italian winner.

Gazetta dello Sport suggested that Moser is leading the way for a new generation of young Italian riders. Giving Italian cycling signs of a successful future on the horizon, rather than just signs of decay.

Fortunately Moser is intelligent enough to not let any pressure or expectation affect him or inflate his ego. He is happy to enjoy his success.

"It's great to win. When you're in the race and focused on what you're doing, it’s difficult to enjoy it but when you can savour victory like I did by winning alone, that's pretty cool," he said.

"I've always liked Strade Bianche and when I rode it last year, I promised myself I'd come back and win one day. I didn't expect it to happen so soon but it's great it did."

"Some people didn't believe in us as a team after the changes this winter but I think we've shown we're still one of the great teams in professional peloton."

Moser has forged a successful partnership with Peter Sagan and seem happy, at least for now, to help each other and share the success. Sagan is a far better sprinter and so waited for the finale at Strade Bianche. Moser proved he has the power and temperament to go on the attack and then win alone.

"Me attacking on the dirt roads and Peter holding back for the finale was an obvious tactic to use but it wasn't easy to execute. I helped him at the GP di Camaiore by chasing down the attacks in the finale. This time Peter worked to help me by chasing down the attacks," Moser explained.

"Knowing that Peter was behind me and knowing that he'd have won if I'd been caught helped ease the pressure but also made focus on my own ride. I knew I had to win otherwise he would have taken over and won."

Moser has now won six races, including the overall classification of the 2012 Tour of Poland. The Italian media would love him to become the next great stage racer. For now he's happy to focus on the hilly classics in the Ardennes.

"I think I've still got a lot of work to do. So far I've done well in hilly classics and I'm going to target them for now. The grand tours can wait a while," he said.

"My uncle won Paris-Roubaix three times but I'm of a different build and a different kind of rider. Paris-Roubaix is a bit too much for me. I'm more suited to races like Milan - San Remo, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche-Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. They're my next goals this spring."

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