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Cancellara, Bennati, Nibali and Modolo are joined by Contador in their final tune-up for La Primavera

Photo: Sirotti








14.03.2013 @ 10:44 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Today's GP Nobili Rubinetterie will be the final preparation race for a number of the Sanremo favourites. On a course very similar to the one found on Sunday along the Mediterranean coast, the likes of Cancellara, Bennati, Nibali and Modolo are all on the hunt for a final confidence boost ahead of the year's first monument.


The Italian one-day race GP Nobili Rubinetterie has been moved from its traditional July slot and will take place today. With Milan-Sanremo now taking place on Sunday, riders have been concerned with the extra day between the finish of Tirreno-Adriatico and their big goal of La Primavera. The calendar change is a response to those concerns, and the race offers some of the contenders one final opportunity to put the finishing touches to their preparations.


One of the most critical of the calendar modifications has been Swiss powerhouse Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack). As the 2008 winner and runner-up in last year's edition of Sanremo, he harbours big ambitions for Sunday's battle, and he has been pleased to see an opportunity to race one final race ahead of the big day.


He will be joined on the start line by another of last year's Sanremo animators, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Coming off his impressive overall Tirreno victory, the Italian will surely put in one of his trademark attacks on the Poggio and could animate today's race, too.


Other Sanremo participants starting today's race include Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Francisco Ventoso (Movistar), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli), Mattia Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli), Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini), Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini), Andrea Guardini (Astana), Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli), Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Fabio Taborre (Vini Fantini) and Matti Breschel (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), and if you add the likes of Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat) you get a formidable line-up.


Last year's winner Danilo Di Luca will not be present. The Italian has been on the hunt for a new team after the demise of Acqua e Sapone, and even though he should have agreed on the conditions to join Vini Fantini, nothing has been made official.


With the earlier calendar slot, organizers have decided to modify the usually quite selective route which has become substantially easier. Travelling along flat roads most of the time, the riders will have to pass a short climb - the last time with 29 km remaining - in the final part of the race. With a flat run-in to the finish, we should be in for a battle between attackers and the sprinters' teams - much like the expected scenario on Sunday in Sanremo.


Make sure to find results and reactions on later today and tomorrow to get you last gauge of the condition of the favourites ahead of Sunday's big battle.



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