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Omega Pharma - Quick-Step has announced their roster for Milano-Sanremo, consisting of experienced riders and former winners of La Primavera as well as 2014 debutants to spring’s first monument.

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele

ALESSANDRO PETACCHI

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ILJO KEISSE

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JAN BAKELANTS

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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MATTEO TRENTIN

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MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI

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MILANO - SANREMO

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SOUDAL - QUICK STEP

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ZDENEK STYBAR

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20.03.2014 @ 19:40 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Milano-Sanremo, with a roster consisting of experienced riders and former winners of La Primavera in the likes of Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish as well as 2014 debutants to spring’s first monument, Iljo Keisse and Jan Bakelants.

 

The versatile team is a mix of both new and experienced riders at La Primavera, with the veterans like the race winner back in 2005 Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw expected to strongly support Mark Cavendish in a bunch sprint and a punchy riders in the likes of Jan Bakelants, Zdenek Stybar and Michał Kwiatkowski to step in whether the race develops into a different scenario.
 

The 294km race includes the classic climbs of the Cipressa (5.6km, 4.1% average gradient, 9% max ramp) and the Poggio (3.7km, 3.7% average gradient, 8% max ramp). The final 6.1 kilometers descend into a flat finish, leaving the possibility for any kind of a finish from a breakaway to a bunch sprint.

 

Even though the recent removal of the new la Pompeiana climb expected to cause some major splits in the peloton just before the finish transformed this year’s route of Milano-Sanremo into a sprinters-friendly affair, Cavendish remains uncertain whether the race would end up in a bunch sprint.

 

"There are so many variables at Milan-San Remo, and that is what makes it beautiful," Cavendish said according to the OPQS official website.

 

"It's not an easy race just because it ends in a sprint. Anyone on the start line can win, and there is no other Classic or race like that. It's a long race, the easiest to finish, but the hardest to win. I am just really happy to have the opportunity to try."

 

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step sports director, Davide Bramati connected Milano-Sanremo main difficulty with its length what comes in line with several other voices recently shared on that matter. He also pointed out to the weather conditions being an important factor, especially with some intense rainfalls being forecasted for the weekend.

 

"We have a strong team that can be a factor no matter how Milan-San Remo plays out. As always anything can happen, and we are ready with a team that is motivated and has already had some races together this season."

 

"Of course the race can also be influenced by this weather, as they are predicting rain. So, any plans can be thrown out the window quickly for all of the teams. We have to be ready to adapt."

 

Zdenek Stybar, apparently overwhelmed by warm emotions towards the season’s first monument, also confirmed the 300 kilometers-long course and forecasted unfavorable weather as a main factors to decide the race.

 

“I will do my best at Milano-Sanremo, a race that I love. I don't really know what can happen in a race of 300 kilometers. The final will be nervous, so it will be very important to save energy in the first part. Especially if it will rain. I'm looking forward to ride this race, it's a true Classic. Two years ago I couldn't even imagine riding this race,” Stybar said on OPQS official website.
 

 

The full Omega Pharma – Quick Step roster for Milano-Sanremo consists of:

Mark Cavendish, Alessandro Petacchi, Mark Renshaw, Matteo Trentin, Iljo Keisse, Jan Bakelants, Zdenek Stybar and Michał Kwiatkowski.

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