Pozzato, Cunego and other Lampre Merida riders assess changes to Milan Sanremo route
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Pozzato, Cunego and other Lampre Merida riders assess changes to Milan Sanremo route

by VeloNation Press at 1:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo
 
“I think the Pompeiana will be the perfect launch pad for attacks”

Filippo PozzatoWith the route of Milan Sanremo now different to before, with the Le Manie climb scrapped and a new ascent called the Pompeiana replacing it but coming later in the race, the riders from the Lampre Merida team have done an important reconnaissance of the modified course.

The 2006 race winner Filippo Pozzato and the 2004 Giro d’Italia and three-time Il Lombardia winner Damiano Cunego were two of those who rode the various climbs in the finale, as did Niccolo Bonifazio, Elia Favilli, Davide Cimolai and Sacha Modolo.

They rode the route from the Cipressa to Sanremo, thus scaling the former, dropping down the descent, climbing the five kilometres-plus of the Pompeiana, then racing on to the iconic Poggio before the final descent to the finish.

“The beginning of the Pompeiana is similar to that of the Cipressa,” said Pozzato, “with a demanding first section. In the second part, the climb is even tougher but the key point will be the slight slope that goes to the summit, as they will catch out those who are lacking energy and who hope to recover.”

He said the descent is also important. “The first part is quite difficult, the second one is very fast. It heads towards the sea, so you need to assess how the wind will affect the speed.”

Cunego had a mainly quiet season in 2013 but is determined to try to step things up again in 2014. He said that doing the reconnaissance of the route was important.

“I felt it was right and professional to come and see in person how la Classicissima has changed. I think the Pompeiana will be the perfect launch pad for attacks. It is the perfect invitation for those who want to shake up the race.

It’s not easy to say if you can make a difference, because there is the possibility that many riders in the group will come to the Cipressa without having spent much of their energy.”

He added that he hadn’t yet decided if he will do Milan-Sanremo as his big goal is to get back his general competitiveness, but still felt that checking out the route was very useful.

From the approach to the Cipressa to the finish line there won’t be any calm moment. You will only be able to take a breather after the finish,” said the directeur sportif Orlando Maini. “On paper, it will be a very different Classicissima than those of the past. It can encourage the climbers, but watch out for the fast riders who have legs that are shape. They can hold on and appear in Sanremo in the front group.”

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