Stalder is ready for the hills in Italy

Florian Stalder looks forward to the hills in Italy

Florian Stalder looks forward to the hills in Italy (Image credit: GEPA)

The Settimana Internazionale Coppi Bartali will take place from March 25 to 29. Florian Stalder (Team Volksbank) has good memories on the race, as he got two top ten rankings there last year. The 25 year-old said that "that's the target for 2008. This stage race is really difficult, but I am in good shape again and ready for a power struggle in the mountains." He warned that "The top teams are coming directly from Tirreno or Paris-Nice," and will have advantages in their race conditioning. Stalder expects "that they will make the races very fast. It's necessary to stay in contact."

Stalder will be accompanied by his mountain-experienced compatriots Andreas Dietziker and Elias Schmäh. Harald Morscher will also be there and said "Those Italian races in the spring are really good for me. Top fields and a fantastic setting. Then it is easy to go to your limit. And that is what we likely will have to do here, if we want to get the odd good result." The team is complemented by Christoph Sokoll and Alexander Gufler. Team captain Gerrit Glomser can not start the race, as he is still recovering from a virus infection.

Team-Manager Thomas Kofler lowered expectations by emphasising that "In our first tough multi-day race in the current season we can't expect too much. We won't hide ourselves, but we won't overdo it, either ... We will get our form up slowly."

Directeur sportif will be the Italian Mario Beccia.

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