Pozzato and Freire look forwards after Gent-Wevelgem placings
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pozzato and Freire look forwards after Gent-Wevelgem placings

by VeloNation Press at 9:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Want to seize opportunities in upcoming races

Filippo PozzatoAlthough he had to be satisfied with ninth place in yesterday’s Gent Wevelgem Classic, Filippo Pozzato is upbeat about the performance and regards it as a success. Not so much for the result, but that it shows how well he has recovered from the accident in the Tour of Qatar which threatened his Classics season.

Pozzato rode strongly in yesterday’s race, featuring prominently at key moments and showing that his form is on the up.

“I got the sprint wrong, but the condition there is and I'm happy about this,” said Pozzato right after the conclusion of the race. “[Oscar] Gatto started too fast and I hesitated a moment. In this way, I have done the work for the others. Anyway I am thinking I’ll be ready for next Sunday, and this is already a success.”

The Ronde Van Vlaanderen has long been a target for the rider, who previously finished fifth and sixth in the race in 2009 and 2008. He’s had a couple of lean seasons but, after transferring to the Farnese Vini – Selle Italia team, appears to have clicked and is looking in good shape.

General manager Luca Scinto is pleased by his recovery, and is feeling a sense of anticipation about next Sunday’s race.

"Many people don't remember that Pozzato had an operation for his collarbone six weeks ago,” he sad. ‘But all of us in the team do. Having him here, ready and in a good physical shape, is already a success.”

While Pozzato suggested that Gatto had his timing wrong at the finish, Scinto applaud’s the Giro d’Italia winner’s showing anyway. “Chapeau to Gatto, he is really strong and he has done a special work for Pozzato. We are thinking already of the Tour of Flanders.”

There he is likely to be up against his old rivals Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Nissan), although another of those, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) appears far off form and might not be a factor.

Another who didn’t place as highly as he wanted but was able to see a plus to his performance was former world champion Oscar Freire. The Spanish Katusha rider took second in Friday’s E3 Harebeke, and was prominent yesterday. His team worked hard for him but he made an uncharacteristic mistake at the finish and could only place fourth.

"In Harelbeke I started my sprint too late,” he stated. ‘This time, unfortunately, I began my rush too early. In fact I tried to anticipate my rivals because I knew Boonen is in a great shape, but they were able to catch me, then the Belgian rider proved to be the best on this kind of course.”

Rather than obsess over the missed opportunity, he’s focused on making amends in upcoming events.

“It´s a pity because the team was great today, again we did a great race, so I wanted to take a good result for them too,” he said. “Anyways, we´re strong and if we continue this way I´m sure we can win some prestigious competitions.”


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