Second place to Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) at the Tour Down Under pre-race People's Choice Classic criterium has given Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) confidence of success during the WorldTour event which starts Tuesday.
The 26-year-old led out the sprint at the conclusion of the 51km race around Adelaide's East End but was unable to match the speed of Kittel as he won the race for a second straight year.
"I felt I had good strength and good sensations, although perhaps I misjudged the decisive moment with 500 meters to go when at the corner there was a lurch and I was forced to ride in the slipstream of the Lotto riders," Lobato said after the race. "Then I decided to try to launch the sprint from far out to see if I could do a good job."
Having ridden the Tour Down Under for the last two years, Lobato is hoping it is three times lucky as he chases his seventh professional win.
"This result gives confidence and shows that I have been training well during the off-season," he said. "I think I'm in the best shape I could be, the team is confident in me and I in them, and I'm very motivated to do well in the first three stages of the race."
Movistar have traditionally performed well at the Australian race with numerous stage wins and podium finishes and Lobato is looking to continue that run during the first three stages of the race although it isn't all about pursing personal ambitions for Lobato as he will turn domestique to help his teammates impress on the overall classification.
"I will work for Gorka [Izaguirre] and Ruben [Fernández] in the tougher stages but for for now I will fight in those early sprints for good results," he added.