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Marta Cavalli: Dreams of winning a women's version of Milan-San Remo

Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope)
Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) (Image credit: FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope)

Marta Cavalli is one of Italy's most exciting rising talent on the Women's WorldTour and she has long dreamt of winning a women's version of Milan-San Remo. The FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope rider said she has spent many training camps in the San Remo area and has a special place in her heart for the Poggio.

"It would be great to skip the first part [of the men's race route from Milan] and start in Genoa along the coast. It could be an awesome race. I love San Remo and I've spent a lot of timing training there," Cavalli told Cyclingnews.

"The Poggio is one of my favourite climbs and I've done it 15 times at a camp last year. I know it well. I would love to play out a big fight with all the riders from the Women's WorldTour on the Poggio. It would be a dream to win San Remo.

A women's version of Milan-San Remo, the Primavera Rosa was held from 1999 to 2005. Cavalli was only six or seven years old with Trixi Worrack won the last held edition on the streets of San Remo. Several riders including Lizzie Deignan have also expressed a hope for the return of the famed one-day race for women.

Cavalli has a love of the tough stage races and the Spring Classics. This year she will target Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders in the spring followed by the Giro d'Italia Donne and Tour de France Femmes in July.

"I will choose two big races for the Spring Classics: Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders, the queen of the Classics. I like that they are really hard races and only big riders with big strengths will be at the finish," she said. 

"I like the atmosphere in Siena, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and most important Classic race in Italy, and I have a special focus for the races in my home country. My family can be there to support me and it's a motivation for me.

"It will be a busy season because there are a lot of new races including the Tour de France. The team is really focused on being as good as possible at the Tour. I am an Italian rider and I have the Giro in my heart. 

"I think it is possible to do them both, and be the best version of my cycling self on both occasions. It will be on hard month with 18 race days but I will try to do my best."

Cavalli, 23, has grown through the elite ranks with Valcar Travel & Service (2017-2020) before joining FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine in 2021. She played a major role in all the races that she started last year and often helped her teammate Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig to success. This year, she aims to secure a win for her team in the top-tier calendar.

"I missed a big win last season, but I was satisfied about all the results because I was in the front all the time. The improvement is good and I always want to improve. I want big results as well, but my main goal is to improve. I have a big team and they trust me and give me all the support that I need," she said.

"I had raced a lot of the events with Valcar, in the last years, and so this gave me confidence with the courses. I had the right training to be in the best shape and I played my cards in all race situations. This year, I have big goals because now I want to gain a big victory."

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.