In the predictions game, the top favorite, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), tries to hide: “Landa will win, here in Trentino”. Mikel Landa, his top opponent, tries to drive the attention on the enfant du pays, Gianni Moscon, but confirms his ambitions and those of Team Sky: “We go for the overall classification, maybe in the end Gianni Moscon will win.” Games apart, the road will be the only judge for the 40th Giro del Trentino Melinda’s contenders, as the long-established race organized by GS Alto Garda is now ready to take place from April 19th to 22nd. As usual, the crave for feedbacks ahead of Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Giro d’Italia merges with the ambition to raise to the top of the standings of a prestigious and demanding event. After all, as Richie Porte said last year, winning is often the best possible training.
“For me, it will be the first race after Tirreno-Adriatico and the training camp in Spain, so we will be looking to tune up the condition and the race rhythm – Nibali said during the eve’s press conference at the Arco’s Casino – as we know we have spent several weeks without racing, and we will see how we fare against our main opponents. It will be a key test for the Giro d’Italia, the goal we are working with along with Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but Trentino has always been a lucky place for me, and I am not looking to back down. The main opponents? Landa, but also several others, including Pozzovivo who has an excellent feeling with these roads”.
Landa does not hide Team Sky’s ambition for the race: “I did not expect to win at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, it was a matter of legs and determination. Ahead of the Giro, I am looking forward to face Nibali and see how competitive I can be against him for the GC.” Then, the two former teammates at Astana showed their mutual respect: “Nibali’s main strenght is having many different strenghts,” Landa said. “He helped me to win Lombardia last year: it’s my fondest memory of us racing together,” replies Nibali. From tomorrow on, it will be one against the other on the Giro del Trentino Melinda roads. sportivamente armati.
TEAM TIME TRIAL AND TRENTINO
Waiting for the short and demanding Anras climbs, the tricky Fai della Paganella ascent and the decisive decisiva Forcella di Brez, the Giro will kick off on Tuesday April 19th with the 12,1 km team time trial from Riva del Garda to Torbole. Giro del Trentino Melinda will be opened at 15.05 by the Team Sky of Landa and Gianni Moscon, followed three minutes later by Astana Pro Team and the Italian National Team. The last team down the ramp will be Gazprom Rusvelo, at 15.56.
In the last two years, two riders from Trentino wore the first leader’s jersey: Daniel Oss (2014) and Cesare Benedetti (2015). The home fans will hope to make it three, and see Team Sky and Gianni Moscon in front, but the youngster shies away.
“Winning and taking the jersey is all the important, we don’t care who will be first to the line. For me, Giro del Trentino Melinda is another opportunity to mature after the third place at Coppi & Bartali”, Moscon said. And about Forcella di Brez, 6 km uphill with an average gratient above 9% and peaking up to 20, the key moment of the final stage from Malè to Cles, Moscon warns: “It will be brutal.”
THE OTHER STAGES
On Wednesday April 20th, the race will restart from Arco for stage 2, moving across the border to Austria, with an unseen finish in Anras, Tirol after 220 km, the last four of which on a demanding uphill. On Thursday April 21st, Sillian will open the high-mountain 3rd stage, finishing in Mezzolombardo after 204,5 km and two long and tough climbs: Nova Ponente and Fai della Paganella. Completing the programme will the 160,9 km 4th stage from Malè to Cles. The new Forcella di Brez climb was added to the classic Trofeo Melinda circuit: a 6 km ascent almost constantly beyond the 9% gradient, with peaks up to 20%. It will be a very severe test, and one that will keep everybody breathless until the final kilometers of the Giro del Trentino Melinda.
GIESSEGI MOMENTS AT THE CASINO IN ARCO
Besides the eve’s press conference, the Casino in Arco also hosted today Giessegi Moments, a meeting with past champions Roger De Vlaeminck and Willy De Bosscher organized by Giessegi, Giro del Trentino Melinda official jerseys’ supplier. Former professional and Giessegi owner Simone Fraccaro and GS Alto Garda’s President Giacomo Santini also took part to the event.
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