Sports Director Gabriele Missaglia said that CCC Team will take each stage of the six-day race as it comes, looking for opportunities while also keeping an eye on the General Classification.
“The goal for us at Itzulia Basque Country will be to race aggressively and go for stage wins with all of our riders, starting on stage one with Patrick Bevin and the time trial. From there, we will look to be present and active on every stage and I believe we have a team strong enough to be challenging for results all week,” Missaglia explained.
“We have raced well at our last few stage races and I think we can once again be in the center of the action here. With Alessandro De Marchi, Serge Pauwels and Riccardo Zoidl lining up, we have strong options for the various breakaways and then I think Jonas Koch and Bevin can work well together in any fast finishes. Depending on how they do in the time trial, we will also try to look for a good General Classification result with Amaro Antunes and Víctor de la Parte.”
Bevin will be targeting the opening 11.2-kilometer long individual time trial at Itzulia Basque Country, his first as the 2019 New Zealand national champion.
“The time trial on stage one of Itzulia Basque Country will be my first outing in my Silver Fern skinsuit and that adds something extra special for me. Every time trial is a target but, I feel like a technical, hilly opening time trial like we will have on Monday, is a great goal for my first race against the clock since winning the New Zealand National Championships,” said Bevin.
“I’m heading into Itzulia Basque Country after a good week in Catalunya. It was an incredibly hard race but I feel like I came out of it in good condition and I’m looking to be active throughout Itzulia Basque Country just like I was there. Volta a Catalunya came after quite a long period of rebuilding my form following the crash at the Santos Tour Down Under and I felt like my racing legs really started to come around late in the race. The stages in the Basque Country present quite a different challenge to those in Catalunya but I won’t let that stop me from giving it a good go.”
Itzulia Basque Country (8 – 13 April)
Rider Roster: Amaro Antunes (POR), Patrick Bevin (NZL), Víctor de la Parte (ESP), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jonas Koch (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Riccardo Zoidl (AUS)
Sports Directors: Gabriele Missaglia (ITA), Marco Pinotti (ITA)
Photos: Cor Vos