Pozzato returns to Coppi e Bartali with Wilier-Selle Italia
12 years after his last appearance at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, Filippo Pozzato returns to the Italian stage race with the Wilier-Selle Italia team. The race starts on Thursday with a sprint stage in Gatteo before an afternoon team time trial in the same Emilia-Romagna town.
Wilier-Selle Italia enjoyed a successful race last year with Manuel Belletti and Jakub Mareczko winning stages, and Matteo Busato placing seventh overall.
Pozzato has only ridden Coppi e Bartali on one previous occasion, back in 2005, and enters the race with the ambition of a stage win. The 35-year-old is still searching for his first win since the 2013 GP Ouest France-Plouay. He showed his early-season form at the Le Tour de Langkawi and will also be a key man for Mareczko in the sprints.
While the team is focused on the sprints, Saturday's queen stage will allow the likes of Julen Amezqueta, Yonder Godoy, Ilia Koshevoy and Daniel Felipe Martinez to show their form on the hilly second and fourth stages.
Wilier-Trestina for the 2017 Coppi e Bartali: Julen Amezqueta, Manuel Belletti, Matteo Busato, Yonder Godoy, Ilia Koshevoy and Daniel Felipe Martinez, Jakub Mareczko and Filippo Pozzato.
E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem - Podcast
The cobbled classics are in full swing this week with E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem the next two important races of the spring. Friday's hilly E3 Harelbeke is quickly followed by Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday where the parcours is bettered suited to a bunch sprint finish.
Ahead of the two WorldTour races, Dane Cash and Cosmo Catalano return with the Recon Ride Cyclingnews podcast to preview and mark the riders most likely to prosper. You can listen to the podcast below or to subscribe to the Cyclingnews Podcast, click here.
JLT Condor for Tour de Taiwan
British Continental team JLT Condor has named its team for the UCI 2.1 Tour de Taiwan, backing Brenton Jones for sprint stage success. The Australian sprinter joined the team in the off-season with second place in the Herald Sun Tour prologue his best result of the year thus far. The race runs from March 26 through to March 30.
While Jones is yet to race Tour de Taiwan, he has won stages at the Tours of Korea, Hainan and Japan and JLT Condor of confident of him continuing his winning run in Asia. Russell Downing will be a second option for the team, explaining the change in approach from previous seasons.
"Last year, the team in Taiwan was focused on climbers, this year we've got a balance of sprinters, climbers and all rounders," Russell Downing said. "We've got options for myself and Brenton in the sprints and that will mean we can keep others guessing and not get marked out."
Bay Crits winner Ian Bibby is another avenue to stage wins across the five days while the queen stage to Nantou is suited to the capabilities of Edmund Bradbury.
The team will be up against Pro-Continental squads Novo Nordisk, UnitedHealthcare and Nippo-Vini Fantini in its bid to add to its New Zealand Cycle Classic and Istarsko Proljece - Istrian Spring Trophy wins in 2017.
JLT Condor for the Tour de Taiwan: Brenton Jones, Russell Downing, James Gullen, Edmund Bradbury and Ian Bibby.
Stage 2 Tour de Normandie victory for Jakobsen and SEG Racing
Dutch Under 23 national road race champion Fabio Jakobsen has continued his 2016 winning form into 2017 claiming stage 2 of the Tour de Normandie into Forges-les-Eaux. The 20-year-old, into his third season with SEG Racing Academy, open his 2017 account earlier in the month by winning the Ster Van Zwolle.
In 2016, Jakobsen enjoyed several wins at Under 23 level and has stepped up in 2017 by taking his biggest win to date. The fast man got the better of Bram Welten (BMC Development), Nicolai Brøchner (Riwal Platform) on the slightly uphill finish.
Welten explained that Jakobsen timed the run to the line to perfection and couldn't match the SEG rider.
"The last part of the sprint was a slight uphill, and perhaps I went a bit early as Fabio Jakobsen (SEG Racing Academy) was able to come past me, on the line," Welten said. "It is clear that my shape is good here and I am still motivated to keep trying on the next stages."
Stage 3 of the race takes the peloton from Duclair to Elbeuf-sur-Seine over 165km with Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) wearing the leader's jersey.