Memorial Marco Pantani 2014 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Memorial Marco Pantani 2014 preview

By David Hunter

The racing, in Italy, continues!

pantaniIt’s a demanding route, but one that interests sprinters and climbers.

pantaniaWe have 3 climbs of Montevecchio, 5.9km at 5%, but 40km of flat towards the finishing line.

The finishing line, in Cesenatico, is part of the finishing circuit, which is completed 4 times.

Despite being in honour of Pantani, the race normally finishes in a bunch sprint. In 2013, it was Sacha Modolo, who took an easy win. In 7 editions, we have 6 sprinter wins v 1 non-sprinter. That was back in 2007, when Franco Pellizotti took the win.

Weirdly, Lampre aren’t taking part in this race. Former winner, Elia Viviani, is here. Not only that, but he’s bang in form! 2nd in Brussels, 3rd in GP de Fourmies and the winner of Coppa Bernocchi. The Cannondale rider has to be considered as the favourite for the race.

Cannondale have 2 options, Viviani and Caruso. It makes a lot of sense to come into the race with a sprint and climber option. Damiano Caruso will represent Italy, in the World Championship RR, and finished 5th in Tre Valli. His 9th place in the Vuelta, was a significant achievement, and he’s in great form.

Bardiani are the other team in form. They arrive with multiple options, in Colbrelli, Battaglin, Bongiorno and Zardini. Both Colbrellii and Zardini have made the long list for Italy and a win would see them head to Spain. Colbrelli was unlucky in Tre Valli, beaten by a very fast Albasini. If Colbrelli is to win, Viviani has to be eliminated. This will be difficult to do.

Neri Sottoli arrive with Ponzi and Finetto. Mauro, was very unlucky in Tre Valli. His second attack was perfect, but Colbrelli chased him down. This race looks more suited to the skills of Ponzi. Both men are super motivated, due to a lack of contract offers.

Italy field a strong team, with one eye on Spain. They have Nibali, Aru, Trentin, Visconti, G. Caruso and Pozzato. Expect Nibali and Aru to test their legs, on the climbs. This will leave Pozzato or Trentin for the sprint.

Other riders with a chance are Pellizotti, Rubiano, Voss, Rebellin and Luis Leon Sanchez. It’s good to see Caja Rural race in Italy and expect Angel Madrazo to try and animate the race. He’s a great, attacking rider and loves getting in breaks.

Wanty have a few options in Selvaggi, Baugnies, Kreder and Seeldraeyers. Baugnies has been unlucky, this week, falling on more than one occasion.

Prediction time…

I think we’ll get a large sprint, and it has to be another win for Elia Vivani. I think he’ll be pushed all the way by Matteo Trentin and Simone Ponzi.

David Hunter

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