Matteo Tosatto: “I’ll do whatever the team needs”
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Matteo Tosatto: “I’ll do whatever the team needs”

by Kyle Moore at 6:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Veteran rider not slowing down entering 16th professional season

Matteo TosattoMatteo Tosatto (SaxoBank) is revving up for another busy season at SaxoBank’s current training camp in the Canary Islands, and the veteran Italian is showing no signs of fatigue as he begins professional season number sixteen.

A veteran of 24 grand tours, Tosatto completed both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France for Bjarne Riis’ squad last season. Though he is not the type of rider who is often able to pick up wins, Tosatto mentioned repeating some of his team’s success from 2011 as goals when he spoke about the upcoming season on the SaxoBank website.

“Naturally, I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do in order to achieve success, and I hope to be a great help during the Classics, and who knows, maybe another Tour de France,” he remarked. “My biggest ambition of the season is to get a place in the Tour de France line-up to help Alberto Contador get that victory. I think Alberto’s biggest rival in France will be Cadel Evans. The route favours him due to the amount of time trialing kilometers but we’ll be giving him a hard time in the mountains.”

After the pre-2011 transfer of many of his star riders to the newly formed Leopard Trek squad (now Radioshack-Nissan), Riis brought in Tosatto from Quick Step to begin last season, and the move turned out to be a wise one. In his first season with the Danish squad, Tosatto was 21st in Milan-Sanremo, and took top forty finishes in Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix, working for team leaders Nick Nuyens and Baden Cooke.

In Flanders, Tosatto helped guide Nuyens to the surprise victory. The 37-year-old indicated that the training camp in the Canary Islands would be ideal preparation for another assault on the season’s biggest races, as he gets ready to help Nuyens and Contador again.

“The weather on the islands is fantastic and we’re taking advantage of that to do a lot of kilometres here,” he added. “Preparing for the season is hard work but the surroundings and the team-mates make the experience a whole lot nicer.

“I’m doing a lot of sweating now as most of the cobblestone Classics are on my program and I really hope we can pull out another big result there as we did in 2011 with Nick. I think we took a few of the big teams by surprise with Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Ronde van Vlaanderen.”

The beginning of the season for Tosatto will have some similarities and differences as compared to a season ago. After beginning a steady block of racing with Tirreno-Adriatico last year, the Italian will instead contest Paris-Nice this year. But after a successful 2011, not much else will change for Tosatto.

“The plan is that I launch the season in Argentina before taking on Algarve, Paris-Nice, Milan-Sanremo, and the cobblestone races in Belgium and France,” he said. “As I said before, I’d love to do another Tour with the team, but Bjarne picks the line-up and I want the best guys in the race as we’re entering it to win.

“During the spring Classics our biggest rival will probably be Philippe Gilbert and I think that Vincenzo Nibali will take the Giro d’Italia. Not because he’s Italian, but because he’s got the qualities to go all the way this year,” Tosatto predicted.


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