Liquigas-Cannondale is ready for the Belgian classics
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liquigas-Cannondale is ready for the Belgian classics

by Ben Atkins at 5:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Quality but a little inexperience for the acid-green team

peter saganLiquigas-Cannondale approaches the next week of Belgian races with confidence, but with the admission that many of its riders lack experience in the tough, cobbled courses of the north. The acid-green team will send a virtually identical team to all three of Gent-Wevelgem, the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, taking just nine riders north to make up the three eight-man teams.

“All the riders have right characteristics to face the difficulties of the pavé,” said team director Stefano Zanatta. “They have qualities; they will be able to exploit all the chances offered by race situations. In Belgium you can’t invent anything and we know that we can pay our lack of experience in terms of results.

“On the other hand,” he added, “we think it’s necessary for young riders to learn in races. We’ll try to minimize the experience gap, giving them technical suggests before, during and after the races.”

While Zanatta concedes that a number of his riders lack a little experience, he does feel that the team has the ability to do something on the tough Belgian roads.

“We have a lot of potential,” he continued. “[Daniel] Oss already showed how well he can go on pavé, as well as [Maciej] Bodnar, [Jacopo] Guarnieri and [Tiziano] Dall’Antonia.

“[Peter] Sagan will face the Belgian classics for the first time but, looking at his characteristics, he won’t have problem,” he added. “[Kreistijan] Koren is a tough rider, as well as [Ted] King and [Alan] Marangoni.

“I’m really confident in [Elia] Viviani,” concluded Zanatta, “he has showed great condition during track performances [he took the silver medal in the scratch race in the ongoing world Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, as well as riding in the team pursuit, and he is due to ride in the Omnium – Ed], I think he can repeat the same on the road.”

The Liquigas team has enjoyed some success in the Belgian classics over the years with riders like Magnus Backstedt, Filippo Pozzato and Frederik Willems. The current generation is unproven though, but with Sagan and others in their current form an acid-green jersey on the podium would not be such a big surprise.

Liquigas-Cannondale for Gent-Wevelgem, Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, and Ronde van Vlaanderen:
Maciej Bodnar, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Jacopo Guarnieri, Ted King, Kristijan Koren and Alan Marangoni, Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan (Elia Viviani will ride De Panne in place of Koren).


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