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"It’s very challenging. It’s important to see before the Olympic Games because the course is for riders like Vincenzo and Fabio. However, there are several riders who have the Olympics as a goal, and it...





11.01.2016 @ 15:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Davide Cassani’s season is about to begin and with it the march towards the Olympic Games in Rio. The Italian national coach is preparing for a very important year what includes important targets in both Brazil and Qatar.


Today he will travil to Rio with Adriano Malori and tomorrow he will be joined by Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru and Valerio Agnoli with whom he will check the course for the Olympic race.


"Let's go to Rio because I want Malori, Nibali and Aru to see location,” he tells SpazioCiclismo. "It’s very challenging. It’s important to see before the Olympic Games because the course is for riders like Vincenzo and Fabio. However, there are several riders who have the Olympics as a goal, and it will be a good fight. I think we can still do well.”


"It’s a special race,” continues Cassani. “There will be 144 riders at the start and the best teams are made ​​up of five. It will be much more complicated to control the race. The route is very hard and it could create a race that is different from what we usually see." 


For Vincenzo Nibali and other riders, this could be "the last chance" to aim for an Olympic medal which will increase the motivation but also give more pressure. However, the coach wants to underline that the Shark of Messina is approaching "his third Olympics and so he knows the climate that he will meet, and is aware that it is a race unlike any other.”


Cassani knows that it will be an important season for Italian cycling. The key points are that Nibali and Aru, according to their programs will lead Astana in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France respectively. What is missing in light of a disappointing 2015 is a good result in a northern classic and the Cassani underlines the "absolute need to have some classic riders.”


“The young people are there,” he says. “Nizzolo, Viviani and Trentin are fast and I think they have room for improvement. I think they can obtain several victories and be noticeable in the classics where until now, except for Trentin in Paris - Tours, we have not done particularly well. Then there are riders a little behind like Bonifazio, Colbrelli and Moser who did great at the world championships and can return to being a hope for Italian cycling. For stage races, we have Formolo and Diego Rosa who was strong last year. We have De Marchi, in the prime of his youth, and a neo-pro like Moscon from whom we can’t expect too much in the first years. The guys are pretty interesting." 


An event that is likely to pass almost unnoticed, especially in the march towards the Olympic Games, is the World Championships in Doha. The course is for sprinters and Cassani has not forgotten the important race.


"There is the wind, but it is still a route for sprinters,” he explains. “The wind can be tricky, especially in the first 80 kilometers. We have to start aggressively and be ready for everything.  I need long-distance riders, riders with sills in the wind and a couple of sprinters.”



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