Matteo Trentin will lead a strong Mitchelton-Scott squad at this Saturday's Milan-San Remo, and the Italian says he'll start the one-day race "with better form than last year", when he finished off the pace in 37th place.
The 29-year-old's best place at La Primavera came in 2016, when he finished 10th in a bunch sprint won by FDJ's Arnaud Démare.
"I think I'm coming into Milan-San Remo with better form than last year, and also with a smoother approach," Trentin said on his team's website. "I've done my homework, so let's see on Saturday.
"We have a really strong team, which we can see from our team's performances at Paris-Nice and at Tirreno-Adriatico," Trentin added.
The European road race champion will be well supported by experienced South African road race champion Daryl Impey, Australian Michael Hepburn, Denmark's Chris Juul-Jensen and Slovenian Luka Mezgec, while Edoardo Affini and Rob Stannard will race their first Milan-San Remo.
The team also has the confidence of having won the race before – back in 2012 as Orica-GreenEdge, when Simon Gerrans took victory ahead of Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali.
"This race certainly put us on the map in Europe way back in 2012, and it's a race we've continued to have success at, podiuming twice since then with Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan," head sports director Matt White said. "We've always been competitive, and this year, I'm sure, will not be any different.
"The big thing that can affect Milan-San Remo is the weather," he continued. "You can have such a variety of conditions. From a beautiful day with no wind to, as we've also seen, snow," he continued, remembering 2013.
"Because it's a race of almost 300km and the boys are out there for a long, long time, the weather does have a big effect on the final result."
Trentin will be up against the likes of CCC Team's Greg Van Avermaet, Bora-Hansgrohe's Peter Sagan, Deceuninck-QuickStep duo Elia Viviani and Julian Alaphilippe, and defending champion Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
"It's always that mix of the world's best Classics riders and the pure sprinters. It's the easiest Classic to ride, but it's one of the hardest to win," said White.
"Matteo is our man. He's got great form and has had a couple of victories already this season. He's a very proud Italian, and it's a Classic he knows he has the ability to win," he said.
"San Remo is not a short race – it's long," Trentin added, considering the 291 kilometres the riders will face on Saturday. "There are a lot of options – so many things can happen in all of those kilometres – but I think we're ready for that."
Mitchelton-Scott for the 2019 Milan-San Remo: Edoardo Affini, Michael Hepburn, Daryl Impey, Chris Juul-Jensen, Luka Mezgec, Robert Stannard, Matteo Trentin
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.