Following the cycling tradition, the pavé of Flanders welcomes the Spring. Cannondale Pro Cycling is ready to be part of this special event for the first time, to face its charm and traps, and of course, to aim high. Tomorrow the team will start its campaign with the E3 Harelbeke (the sixth UCI World Tour event), a 211 km road race called the ‘Little Ronde’ due to the muur(cobbled hills) that it shares with the Flemish queen race, the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).
Fans’ eyes will be focused first of all on Peter Sagan, the Slovak champion of Cannondale Pro Cycling who targets the Classics as his first goal of the season. At his side will be Italian talent Elia Viviani, in Belgium searching for a bold performance. In support, the Directeurs Sportif will have at their disposal six reliable long distance riders such as Polish Maciej Bodnar, American Ted King, Slovenian Kristijan Koren and Italians Mauro Da Dalto, Alan Marangoni and Fabio Sabatini.
“I really want to do well,” affirmed Sagan. “And I have the form to do so. The second place Sunday in ‘Sanremo’ is in the books now. Tomorrow will be the first race on pavé: I need to familiarize with it but I want to be competitive from the go. In Belgium, you need to know how race and experience is essential, along with strong support from the team. I am confident in the people around me and this makes me calm and gives me encouragement”.
“The performances in the beginning of March showed that the team has a good form,” explained Zanatta. “When you have a prodigy such as Sagan and a great option like Viviani, I think it’s right to aim high. This doesn’t mean that we have to win, but do our best to succeed. We’ll have more pressure compared to the past, but also more experience. I saw a motivated and united team. If we are able to put our leaders in the right place, we can achieve great results.”
After E3 Harelbeke, the Flemish campaign of Cannondale Pro Cycling will continue with Gent-Wevelgem (March 24), Three Days of De Panne (From March 26 to 28) and the Tour of Flanders (March 31).