Filippo Pozzato trains this week in Monaco with his mind on winning Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. Tom Boonen narrowly beat him in the Tour of Flanders, but didn’t crush his desire to win a big Classic.
“It’s not like it took away his drive,” Farnese Vini sports director, Serge Parsani told Cycling Weekly. “He’s still 100 per cent focused on winning Roubaix.”
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The Italian went home on Monday to Monaco and skipped the Scheldeprijs. He’s scheduled for two long training rides yesterday and today to be ready for Sunday’s appointment in France.
This evening, he arrives at Farnese Vini’s hotel in Belgium and heads south to train on some of the cobble sectors tomorrow.
It’s not only the second post in Flanders that inspires him, but a string of top-ten placings. He placed sixth in Milan-San Remo, sixth in Dwars door Vlaanderen and ninth in Ghent-Wevelgem. The results came after a fractured collarbone in February during the Tour of Qatar.
However, this year he races on a second division team, not the WorldTour-level Katusha team that helped him place second in Paris-Roubaix three years ago.
“We have guys who will sacrifice themselves for Pozzato,” Parsani said. “We don’t have a WorldTour team, but we have nothing to be jealous about. We have young riders, who maybe don’t have experience, but have a lot of motivation and desire to support Pozzato.”
Farnese Vini placed four riders – Elia Favilli, Kevin Hulsmans, Francesco Failli and Oscar Gatto – in main group of 44 riders at 38 seconds on Sunday.
“That means they are riders who know how to stay in front, ride on pavé, and that’s after 250 kilometres.”
Parsani will make some slight changes for Roubaix. Luca Mazzanti and Pierpaolo De Negri will stay home and Cristian Benenati and one other will join Pozzato.
“He’s relaxed, but a little sorry he lost his chance to win Flanders. It would have been worse for him had finished second behind another, weaker rider. He accepts the second place, but knows that he could’ve won.”