Moreno ready to step up a level with Omega Pharma-Lotto
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moreno ready to step up a level with Omega Pharma-Lotto

by Conal Andrews at 7:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

New OmegaPharma-Lotto signing Dani Moreno is likely to be one of the riders who will be entrusted with the task of replacing Cadel Evans on the team. Of course, the Spaniard has nothing like the past results of the Australian rider, but Evans’ sudden departure to BMC Racing has left a void that will have to be filled.

It’s an intimidating position, but Moreno said that he’d ready to step up to the task.

"I was signed to help Evans. Now that he is gone and there is no leader in the team for the Grand Tours, I think that will benefit me as there is no star to sign at this stage of the season,” he said on Wednesday. “I will be free at the races and that excites me greatly. I am a winning rider who always goes well in tours of one week and those of three weeks, such as the Vuelta.”

Moreno has taken several top ten results in stages in the Spanish race, as well as finishing 12th in 2007 and 2008, then 11th this year. His past results also include stage wins in the Volta a Alentejo in Portugal, the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and the Euskal Bizikleta in Spain. He also won the Escalada a Montjuic two years ago.

Those results are a hint of his ability, but he believes they are not a full reflection. “In those years I’ve been helping my current team, Caisse d'Epargne, which is why I could not shine as I did in the week-long tours with Relax. The challenge does not bother me the least….I'm delighted and I know I can be a leader in the three-week Tours. And if I ride the Classics I will be near to Gilbert, as those races go well even if they are not in the best period [of the season] for me.”

One of the challenges facing Moreno is that of learning English. He has committed to learning it, and will have a chance to both practice it and to meet his team-mates in a training camp in Belgium from December 3rd to 5th. His programme will be decided there, even if he has an idea what races he wants to perform well in. Of the Classics, he sees the Amstel Gold race, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège as being suitable for his talents, but more so the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

“I’ve not yet reached my peak as every year I feel better and have more experience,” he said, showing his hunger. “Next year I will have more freedom and if it goes like other years, I think I’ll do very well. I said long ago that I can be among the top five in the Vuelta a España - if I have a little luck I think I could reach the podium one day. Three week races suit me very well and I retain my strength during them.”

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