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"It's great to win. When you're in the race and focused on what you're doing, it’s difficult to enjoy it but when you can relish a win like I did by winning alone, that's pretty cool," he said.

Photo: Sirotti

MORENO MOSER

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STRADE BIANCHE

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04.03.2013 @ 11:29 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Strade Bianche winner aims for the Ardennes rather than Paris-Roubaix.

 

Gazzetta dello Sport celebrated Moreno Moser's victory at the Strade Bianche race by crowning the Cannondale rider as the next great of the Moser family.

"E' un vero Moser" - "He's a real Moser" the Italian sports newspaper headlined their double-page coverage of the race, recounting how more than 30 relatives and friends had travelled from Palu' di Giovo in the Dolomites to Siena to applaud Moreno’s victory.

 

Moser’s attack minded long-distance assault to claim Strade Bianche on Saturday and his ability to hold off a pursuit by big-name rivals reminded many observers of the manner in which Francesco Moser attacked alone to win Paris-Roubaix and many of his other career defining victories.

 

Moreno Moser quickly and wisely played down comparisons with his uncle but acknowledged certain similar character traits. He was the youngest rider to finish Strade Bianche and the first Italian winner, which only helped fuel the enthusiasm and optimistic view of La Gazzetta.

 

The Italian Sports daily hinted that Moser could be leading the way for a new generation of young Italian riders providing Italian cycling with signs of a promising future, rather than just indications of decay. The inherent danger of this praise for Moser is that he might get carried away, but at present he seems intelligent enough to not let any pressure or expectation affect him or increase his self-worth. For now, he is content to enjoy his success.

"It's great to win. When you're in the race and focused on what you're doing, it’s difficult to enjoy it but when you can relish a win like I did by winning alone, that's pretty cool," he said.

 

"I've always liked Strade Bianche and when I rode it last year, I promised myself I'd come back and win one day. I didn't expect it to happen so soon but it's great it did. Some people didn't believe in us as a team after the changes this winter but I think we've shown we're still one of the great teams in the professional peloton."

 

On Cannondale Moser has built a flourishing partnership with Peter Sagan and both of them appear happy, at least for the time being, to aid each other and share the success. Sagan is a far better sprinter and so waited for the finale at Strade Bianche. Moser proved he has the power and temperament to go on the attack and then win alone.

 

Moser now has six race wins to his credit, including the overall classification of the 2012 Tour of Poland. The Italian media, desperately craving a credible Italian contender for the overall in the Tour or in their own beloved Giro, would love him to become the next great stage racer.

 

The hilly classics in the Ardennes, however, will be next on Moser’s itinerary.

"I think I've still got a lot of work to do. So far I've done well in hilly classics and I'm going to target them for now. The grand tours can wait a while," he said. "My uncle won Paris-Roubaix three times but I'm of a different physique and a different kind of rider. Paris-Roubaix is a bit too tough for me. I'm more cut out for races like Milan - San Remo, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. They're my next goals this spring."

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