Columbia HTC chasing more wins in end of season races
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Columbia HTC chasing more wins in end of season races

by Conal Andrews at 9:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

With a staggering 85 wins on its books thus far in 2009, the Columbia HTC is heading to two Italian Classics this weekend in a positive frame of mind.

Kim Kirchen, Craig Lewis, Thomas Lovkvist, Maxime Monfort, Marco Pinotti, Morris Possoni and Kanstantsin Sivtsov are scheduled to ride the Giro dell’Emilia tomorrow, then Sunday’s GP Beghelli. They will aim to follow team-mate Andre Greipel’s example, with the German sprinter galloping to success in the Paris-Bourges Classic yesterday.

Italian national time trial champion Pinotti says that the Giro dell’Emilia has the tougher course. “The first half is flat, but then the hills begin,” he explained. “Finally, it's got five ascents of a short but difficult climb, and the last time it finishes at the top. It's ideal for the kind of climbers who do well in the Ardennes Classics in April, guys like Kim Kirchen who has won the Fleche Wallone in the past."

Pinotti has different expectations for Sunday’s event, which is held on a flatter course. “There's a final circuit with a small climb, but instead of a lone winner, you'll normally get 45 or 50 guys all together and they sprint it out. A break can go, though, and the riders who've gone all out the day before are really tired here, which makes it a bit more complicated to predict. We don't really have a sprinter for these races, so we'll try and break up the race in the finishing circuit and see if a move can get away and stick."

Pinotti has had a strong run of form in recent months, winning his fourth Italian TT title in June and then placing sixth overall in the Sachsen Tour, tenth in the Clasica San Sebastian, fifth in the Tour of Ireland, fourth in the Tour of Missouri and fifth in the world championship time trial.

He’s remained motivated and wants to chase a good result in the remaining races. "I did three or four days' easy training after the World's, but then I started training hard again and I'm still in good shape,” he said. “I'm feeling good and I'm feeling confident.”

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