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“Girmay and Rota sharpened up”

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty will participate for the fourth time to Milano-Sanremo this Saturday. Loyal to its tradition, the Primavera presents a course of nearly 300 kilometer with its famous ‘Capi’, which give rise to its reputation of indecisive race. 

The race will start at 10h10 from Abbiategrasso and exceptionally not from the heart of the metropolitan city this time, in the direction of the Ligurian coast via the Passo del Turchino, the first difficulty halfway through the race.

The 50 last kilometers contain the Capo Mele, the Capo Cervo and the Capo Berta before the final over the Cipressa (5.6km at 4.1%) and the Poggio di Sanremo (3.7km at 3.7%). From the top of this last difficulty, there are only a little more than 5 kilometer to cover to the finish in the Via Roma.

Last year, Biniam Girmay obtained the best result ever for Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in his first participation, by crossing the line eleven seconds after winner Matej Mohoric in twelfth place.

The 22 year old Eritrean rider will lead the selection alongside Lorenzo Rota, who was also present in last year’s final with a nineteenth place. A known name on the start list of Milano-Sanremo, Niccolò Bonifazio, participated seven times with one fifth place in 2015.

Another rider who played a role in the final of the Primavera is Mike Teunissen, who took eighteenth place in his only participation in 2019, working for Wout Van Aert. Sven Erik Bystrøm will participate to Milano-Sanremo for the sixth time, the fourteenth Monument of his career.

Aimé De Gendt and Loïc Vliegen, who made the colors of the team shine in the summer edition of 2020, complete the selection directed by Aike Visbeek, Valerio Piva and Ioannis Tamouridis.

« This Saturday I’ll be at the start of my second Milano-Sanremo. It was a good experience last year and so far the only Monument I’ve ridden in my career. I learned how important the positioning is in this race. In the final you have to follow the right moves and the right riders to avoid getting towards the back and having to spend a lot of energy to ride to the front again. There’s no secret, the legs or physical condition have to be good and in the final it is unavoidable to take risks downhill. However, the unpredictability makes it so difficult to get a leverage on the key to success. Last year for example, the battle between the favorites started on the Cipressa already, way earlier than usual. You need to make intelligent choices, that’s what makes it so difficult to win this Monument. » « I’m looking forward to this period with Milano-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, the three Monuments I wanted to prepare really well. After winning in Valencia I trained at home in Asmara for one month. Then I built up competition rhythm in the Italian races the past two weeks. Each day I felt my form growing, resulting in a third and fourth place in Tirreno-Adriatico. It was also essential to stay spared of crashes and other problems. So I can’t wait to line up on Saturday. It will be again a good learning process to approach my dream of, one day, finishing on the podium of the Primavera. »

« Our preparation for the first Monuments of the season went well, so we have a large group of riders in good shape to start this important period. We are pleased to see that our young generation of riders is performing really well, showing that they are ready to join our selections in the most prestigious races. » « For Milano-Sanremo, we chose for a team with the abilities to guide Biniam Girmay and Lorenzo Rota to a good position on the Poggio. Since their top twenty in last year's edition, they both acquired experience and are one year stronger. Saturday is a perfect opportunity to measure how good we are compared to the top riders. In Tirreno-Adriatico we noticed the growing form of Biniam Girmay, so we're curious to see how he will pursue his discovery the next weeks. » « Everyone knows the difficulties and the key moments which await us on Saturday, there's nothing difficult about that. But many scenarios are possible. We can expect a long and intense final, with an early battle between the favorites for example, but as usual the differences on top of the Poggio will decide on how many riders compete for the victory in the final kilometer. We will do everything we can to be a part of that battle with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. »


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