Published on : 03/03/2023
The UCI World Tour team will be particularly mobilized this weekend and next week. What's on the agenda? Youth in the spotlight at the Strade Bianche, resistance in Belgium.... Experience and the ability to shine on all terrains in the two stage races. Everything to continue the momentum that has been built up since the beginning of the season.
STRADE BIANCHE / The premium on youth
This is a mythical race and the Italians are not the only ones who see it as the sixth monument of cycling. "This race is a brilliant mix of history and modernity that makes cycling so powerful," explains Roberto Damiani, sports director. He sees in this race that leads to Siena "the same technicality and difficulty as in Roubaix" and "the importance of preparing this race with professionalism. This season, it was decided to line up a young team that lacks neither talent nor ambition. Like Axel Zingle, Eddy Finé and Thomas Champion, they are all eager to discover the race, to understand what makes it so special. It's an opportunity to gain experience by allowing themselves to do anything and to live a special moment in the season.
The eye of... Axel Zingle
"We are lucky to have a team that allows us to discover this type of prestigious race. It will be a real discovery and we are approaching it without pressure, even if we will fight to give our best. Since the beginning of the season, I have good sensations but I have not yet had the pleasure to raise my arms and that motivates me to do better each time. Our team is young, of course, but we are all on the same wavelength. We'll do everything we can to learn, have no regrets and take advantage of the opportunities that come our way.
A. Carvalho, T. Champion, E. Finé, J. Lastra, A. Mariault, H. Wood and A. Zingle
PARIS-NICE / Ion, Bryan and Benjamin, ready for the Race to the Sun
This is another unmissable event that reminds us of the joys of the Tour de France. From the Paris region to the Côte d'Azur, you have to try your luck in the sprints, watch out for the risk of a break and then look ahead to the final days and the mountain stages. "We have several cards to play between Bryan for the sprint, Benjamin for the punchy side and Ion for the general classification," explains Alain Deloeuil. The Spanish rider, a stage winner at Paris-Nice in 2019, finished in the 'top 10' last year (7th), a performance he hopes to repeat this year. In addition, the team is hoping for a strong performance in the team time trial (stage 3). "Benjamin, Max and Ion are very comfortable in this exercise and we have a new time trial bike. It would be a shame not to take advantage of it!" To perfect their automatisms in the exercise, a test day takes place this Friday at the Belgian circuit of Zolder.
The eye of... Ion Izagirre
"I'm going to do everything I can to get on the podium. Despite my crash in Gran Camino, my feelings are good, I was able to train again and I feel ready for this challenge. Paris-Nice is a complicated race because you have to watch out for the edges, avoid crashes, succeed in the time trial to have a chance to finish well in the overall classification. But I think we have a very good team to be among the leaders of this week's race.
B. Coquard, R. Fernandez, S. Geschke, I. Izagirre A. Renard, B. Thomas and
TIRRENO - ADRIATICO / A strong team
To join the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic Sea, that is to say from the west coast to the east coast of Italy can be fast, except if you venture inland. This is the program of Tirreno-Adriatico, from Monday to Sunday, with 1171 km to cover in the seven stages on the program. In order to shine on the Race of the Two Seas, the Cofidis team is presenting itself with a particularly competitive squad to "play on all fronts", according to Roberto Damiani, sports director. Simone Consonni, Davide Cimolai and Axel Zingle will try their chances in the stages dedicated to sprinters and puncheurs. On their side, Anthony Perez - victorious last week at the Faun Drôme Classic -, Victor Lafay (3rd of a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico last year) and Rémy Rochas will be major assets as soon as the road gets higher. They will also have a major role to play in supporting Guillaume Martin, who is participating for the first time and will be aiming for the top step in the overall classification. This promises to be a particularly intense week of competition for the Cofidis team!
The eye of... Guillaume Martin
"Since the beginning of the season, I had to face several health problems. The fact that I haven't raced at full strength inevitably instills a little doubt. But I'm approaching the race with a lot of enthusiasm, especially since it's the first time I'm taking part. I will soon be 30 years old and I am grateful to the team for allowing me to discover new races. It's also my first stage race of the year and it's the playground where I express myself best. We have a really solid team that can shine on all terrains. We have the weapons to aim for stage wins and a good place in the overall standings!"
D. Cimolai, S. Consonni, V. Lafay, G. Martin, A. Perez, R. Rochas and A. Zingle
GP CRIQUIELION, MONSERÉ / For the hardy of the asphalt
The Belgian races, always as harassing, breathless and frenzied, continue this weekend. Cofidis will be involved in the GP Criquielion on Saturday (201 km) and in the GP Monseré on Sunday (198,6 km). The team will be concentrated around Piet Allegaert, who is very comfortable in this type of exercise. He will be able to count on the support of the rouleurs-puncheurs: Jelle Wallays, Hugo Toumire, Christophe Noppe, Wesley Kreder and Alexandre Delettre who will do everything to help him fight for the final victory.
P. Allegaert, A. Delettre, W. Kreder, C. Noppe, H. Toumire and J. Wallays