2012 runner-up Pozzato says he’s fit and ready to go for Ronde van Vlaanderen honours
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

2012 runner-up Pozzato says he’s fit and ready to go for Ronde van Vlaanderen honours

by Shane Stokes at 2:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Flanders
Italian hopes for good weather in order to get the best out of himself

Filippo PozzatoTwelve months after he finished second to Tom Boonen in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Filippo Pozzato has issued an assurance that he is going well, and suggests that he’ll be ready to challenge for the win if the weather picks up this weekend.

The Italian rider was one of the strongest in last year’s race but erred in waiting for a sprint against Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) rather than being more aggressive in the finale.

As expected, Boonen won the gallop to the line, thus causing Pozzato to miss out on one of his biggest goals in the sport.

Twelve months on and with a couple of good rides to his credit this year, Pozzato sounds motivated as he returns to the race.

“My shape is good and it was good also in GP Harelbeke and Gand-Wevelgem,” he said today. “Unfortunately, I suffered too much from the cold weather. Anyway, when I come back from Belgium, I could train in warmer weather and I'm satisfied about the work I performed.”

The 31 year old won the Trofeo Laigueglia in February and was then second in Roma Maxima. He has been quieter since then but suggests that the very tough weather conditions the riders have encountered this year might have held him back.

“I think I'm ready to make efforts at 110% and I spur my team mates to do the same. I'm sure they all will give their best,” he said. “We all know that in order to try to reach our goal, we must be perfect.

“I have an additional request: I'd like the weather to be good, without too much rain or deep cold.”

Pozzato will have Mattia Cattaneo, Davide Cimolai, Elia Favilli, Massimo Graziato, Andrea Palini, Alessandro Petacchi and Davide Viganò as team-mates on Sunday. He’s clear in his mind about who the most dangerous are.

“As regards the opponents, Sagan and Cancellara are in the first line: they both showed they're at the top. Boonen is not at 100%, but he's motivated for this race. In addition, Omega Pharma-Quickstep is a very competitive team, they can support Boonen in the best way and they could also rely on various resources.”


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