Nibali and Sagan double up to tackle the Amstel Gold Race
Vincenzo: «A nervous parcours but I’m ready for battle». Peter: «This race suits my style of riding»
This morning Liquigas-Cannondale put the final touches to its preparations for the Amstel Gold Race, which starts tomorrow morning at 10.15. The reconnaissance ride covered forty kilometres and included the last eight côte to give the guys a chance to refresh their memories for the most intense phases in tomorrow’s race.
«I know these roads well and the difficulties posed by the route, » said Vincenzo Nibali, «Narrow roads, traffic islands and bottlenecks. You have to fight to keep your position at the head of the group, and if you get stuck behind when there is a crash, you have to ride twice as hard to get back to front. It will be a nervous race, as always, and you need maximum concentration from the first kilometre. If you want to win, you need to follow these rules and have good enough legs to make the difference. I feel good: I’ve been working in the mountains to keep up my condition from the “Tirreno” and the desire to win the first classic of my career is massive. It’s not my style to make assertions though, particularly when there is an unknown factor like the route change on the final climbs. I’ll be joining the battle with the main contenders, conscious of the fact that I’ve got a teammate like Sagan in the squad who is also a favourite: we’ll join forces to try and bring home a win for the team. »
«From my first experience in 2011 I remember it being an exhausting race, » Peter Sagan explained, «I came into the race off an intense schedule that had concluded with the “Roubaix”, and I ran out of gas after 200 kilometres. It was important for me though because I understood that the race suits my style of riding. I remember it like the “Flanders” without the pavé: short, explosive climbs that need to be attacked with powerful riding. We rode the final phases of the race this morning so we could memorise the trickiest parts, those are where we’ll need to closely mark the favourites. I’m in good condition; I just hope my injuries from the fall in last Wednesday’s Brabantse don’t bother me too much: the bruises have gone but the scratches are still a bit sore, especially the ones on my back and thigh. I’m confident, but this is a selective race that will only let strong riders shine: there again not many teams have a duo like me and Nibali though … »