Milan-Sanremo: Farnese Vini – Selle Italia banks on Pozzato and Gatto
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Milan-Sanremo: Farnese Vini – Selle Italia banks on Pozzato and Gatto

by VeloNation Press at 8:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
Italian team doesn’t select in-form Andrea Guardini

Filippo PozzatoAlthough he broke his collarbone just over a month ago, the Farnese Vini Selle Italia team believes that former race winner Filippo Pozzato can pull out a big performance in Saturday’s Milan-Sanremo.

The Italian has worked hard to be ready for the Classics, returning to competition extremely quickly after having the fracture pinned. He’s been able to cope with the discomfort, completing Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday, and will have the backing of the team in three day’s time.

"Pozzato was unlucky with the crash in Qatar, but we haven't lost many days of work,” said the team’s general manager Luca Scinto. “I think that he can do something special, together with Oscar Gatto, who has come out in great shape from Tirreno, where has has shown he has matured and evolved as a rider. He has now become a complete athlete for one-day races.”

2011 Giro d’Italia stage winner Gatto showed strong form to take third in the Strade Bianche race, crossing the line as part of a select group chasing the solo winner Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Nissan). He was also a solid eighteenth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and, more recently, eighth on stage six in Tirreno-Adriatico. He will be psyched by the chance to shine in the big Italian Classic.

The Italian team has taken the somewhat unexpected decision to pass over their most successful rider thus far this season, Andrea Guardini. The sprinter clocked up six wins in the recent Tour de Langkawi, winning over half of the ten stages on offer, and is on a confidence high.

However Scinto isn’t convinced that he’s yet capable of being a factor on the long, tough course of Milan-Sanremo; Guardini is just 22 years of age, and Scinto argues that he needs more time before he can hope to win La Classicisima.

“He isn't ready.,” insists Scinto. “And even if many people will criticize me, I'm sure of this decision. He will have the possibility to do a good test during the Giro d’Italia. That is his goal.”

Those who have got a green light are Pierpaolo De Negri, Kevin Hulsmans, Diego Caccia, Elia Favilli, Francesco Failli, and Luca Mazzanti. They will put their effort behind Pozzato and Gatto, hoping that the Pro Continental team can surprise the bigger squads with a major win.


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