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"I'm happy to be back because I prefer the way of racing. As I showed last year, my results arrived in the WorldTour races. I'm ready to stay in the WorldTour at a good level."

Photo: Sirotti




06.11.2016 @ 17:28 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Speaking at Bahrain-Merida’s first team gathering in Croatia, Amstel Gold Race winner Enrico Gasparotto has spoken with Cyclingnews about how at home he already feels with his new employers.


“It's perfect for me. It's a completely new project but most of the people involved I've known for a long time. For example, I was teammate of Vladimir Miholjevic (sport director) in Liquigas, I was teammates with Nibali and [Valerio] Agnoli, at Astana, Paolo Slongo I worked with him in Liquigas and Astana, and also Brent Copeland I worked with in Lampre in 2009. Also a lot of staff and soigneurs are coming from Liquigas, so yes, it's a new project but it also feels very familiar,” he told Cyclingnews.


Gasparotto, who had his best Ardennes campaign this year since 2012 when he took his first Amstel and was third in Liege, says he should lead the team in the Ardennes, but knows Nibali may also target Liege. Ironically, it was Nibali who was second in La Doyenne the year Gasparotto was third.


“In races like Liège, the more you have in the final the better. It's like a poker match, you know; the more cards you have the more possibilities you have. The year [Maxim] Iglinsky won, in 2012, he wasn't the strongest rider on the day, it's just that it was me, Iglinsky and Kiserlovski at the top of the Roche-aux-Faucons. Three of us, and we fought Katusha who had Purito, Moreno and Caruso. Three on three. It's important. Also it helps that we are really different kind of riders. Nibali to win in Liège has to arrive alone, me I have to wait for the sprint, maybe.”


For Gasparotto, 2017 sees him return to WorldTour level, after a two year stint at Pro Conti with Wanty. For him, this means a chance to perhaps ride a Grand Tour and the two races in Canada, which he likes.


“It's a big step up. I know already what it means being in a WorldTour team. I know what the difficulties are compared to Pro Conti. I'm happy to be back because I prefer the way of racing. As I showed last year, my results arrived in the WorldTour races. I'm ready to stay in the WorldTour at a good level. In the last two years I missed the races like Montreal and Quebec which I really like.”




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