Liquigas protecting Quinziato for De Panne overall

'Pippo' encouraged for Ronde Sunday

By Gregor Brown in Koksijde

Italian ProTour Team Liquigas is ready for Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen battle. Filippo Pozzato is rallying his troops, who are in contention in the Driedaagse De Panne with Manuel Quinziato in third overall.

Pozzato "called me yesterday [following stage one] to say congratulations," said 28 year-old Italian Quinziato to Cyclingnews. "He is happy, not only for me, but because the team is going so strong. We are all motivated to do well on Sunday for Pozzato. He will be our sole captain, and we are ready to ride a good Flanders for him." He confirmed 'Pippo' Pozzato, third in the Milano-Sanremo, rode for seven hours on Tuesday.

Quinziato rode support for his compatriot in Ronde last year before a crash ruled him out of the finale. He knows what it takes to do well on the Flemish roads as evident in his stage one performance along roads leading to Zottegem. "Here in Belgium, every day can be dangerous; you have to pay attention.

"I am good and the morale is good. I see that my condition is what I had hoped it would be, and tomorrow [stages three and four - ed.] I will try to do the best I can. I was a specialist, and I hope to do a good time trial tomorrow for the overall win."

"Manuel is up there classification, and he is paying attention to his position in the finale," sprinter Francesco Chicchi noted of the team's classification leader in De Panne. "He will make sure to stay at the front ... so that he does not get gapped off." Chicchi, along with Quinziato, will be amongst the Liquigas troops for Sunday's Ronde battle.

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