Sports Director Gabriele Missaglia is confident that CCC Team can use the strengths of all seven riders across the four-day stage race.
“Tour de la Provence is a very hard race but I think, looking at the riders we are lining up with, we will have a variety of cards to play. The first stage is almost completely flat with just over 500 meters of climbing, nothing in comparison to the rest of the race and so, on this day we will work for Jakub Mareczko, who I think is in good shape. For the rest of the race, Fausto Masnada and Jan Hirt will be our protected riders, particularly for the two important summit finish stages. Of course, this will be the first race of the year for both riders so, it will also be a bit of a test for them to see what their shape is like after the winter,” Missaglia explained.
“The rest of our roster, Will Barta, Jonas Koch, Michał Paluta and Attila Valter, will also have the chance to look for any breakaway opportunities as well as providing strong support for Hirt and Masnada. Overall, we have a nice team heading to Tour de la Provence and I think we can aim for a good result.”
Fausto Masnada and Jan Hirt are both looking forward to testing their early-season form on the tough climbs that feature in their debut race for CCC Team.
“I am very excited and can’t wait to start my first season in my new colors and in a WorldTeam. I worked hard all winter in order to try and start the 2020 season in the best shape so I feel ready. I am happy to be returning to Tour de la Provence because I know this race well, it was my first race in 2019, and I also like the hard stages. It’s difficult to have particular goals because while it’s the first race for me and I know my condition, I don’t know that of my competitors,” Masnada said.
“I’m really excited to start racing in orange again after a two-year break from a CCC-sponsored team. I am not 100 percent sure what my form will be like after the winter but, I have worked hard and I think that Tour de la Provence will be a good test at the start of the season. The race is hard, with plenty of climbing, so it will give me the chance to see what I can do for myself and for the team as well as get some quality racing kilometers in the legs for the season ahead,” Hirt added.
Tour de la Provence (13 – 16 February)
Rider roster: Will Barta (USA), Jan Hirt (CZE), Jonas Koch (GER), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Fausto Masnada (ITA), Michał Paluta (POL), Attila Valter (HUN)
Sports Directors: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN)