Dark Horse Breschel fancies his chances for Milan-Sanremo
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dark Horse Breschel fancies his chances for Milan-Sanremo

by Conal Andrews at 6:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 

Riders such as Tom Boonen, Daniele Bennati and Thor Hushovd are being spoken of as potential winners of this year’s Milan-San Remo, but another who must be considered is the Danish champion Matti Breschel. He hasn’t won a big Classic before, but he is feeling confident as the race approaches.

“If everything goes to plan, I can win Milan-Sanremo,” he told Ekstra Bladet. “I’ll have to be lucky and have a good day, but if I am well rested in the next few days, I am sure that my form is perfect.”

Being just 25 years old, Breschel is at a point in his career where he should be naturally improving as he approaches the optimum age for an athlete. He highlighted his ability two years ago when he finished third in the world road championships, then last year had a very solid season with several good wins.

He took a stage victories in the Tour de Suisse, the Volta ao Catalunya, the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour of Denmark, as well as the points classifications in the latter two. Breschel also won the national road race championships, was second in the Vattenfall Cyclassics and third overall in the Tour of Ireland.

This year, his best placing thus far was third on the first day of Tirreno-Adriatico, but he is convinced that his condition is improving well. “I feel that my form is on the increase, and I hope that the race has given me a good workout at the end of the stages,” he said.

The team will have a couple of candidates for victory, with Fabian Cancellara keen to repeat his win of two years ago. He’ll try to get clear before the finishing sprint but if that doesn’t work out, and if Breschel is feeling confident, he should be able to rely on the assistance of the Australians Stuart O’Grady and Baden Cooke as his leadout men.

Breschel’s directeur sportif Torsten Schmidt feels confident that those who competed in Tirreno will see a good jump in form.

“The race is used as preparation for the big goal, which lies just around the corner,” he said. “The riders come out the other side of the race better and stronger than before, and that’s the main thing.”

Breschel will hope that things work out well for him this weekend and he can scoop the biggest win of his career. Either way, he’ll be one to watch in the Spring Classics. Last year he highlighted his potential in tough, single day races with three important placings; sixth in the Tour of Flanders, seventh in the hilly world road race championships and tenth in Paris-Roubaix. If he can step his game up slightly this season, the big results will start to roll in.

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