The team will line up at the start of the race without one particular leader for the General Classification but, with multiple opportunists and time trial specialists who are capable of delivering good results next week, Sports Director Fabio Baldato explains.
“Our main objective for the Tour de Romandie is the prologue and the final time trial. With Patrick Bevin and Joey Rosskopf in the roster, we believe that we can fight for a top-five result or even a podium on those two stages. We are coming to Switzerland with no pure climber, and since there is a tough mountain top finish stage on day four, we don’t have big expectations in terms of the General Classification. However, we want to race aggressively and battle for stage wins. Riccardo Zoidl can do well in the mountainous terrain and Jakub Mareczko, who is also in good condition, should be up there with the best sprinters on stages two and three if it comes down to a bunch finish.”
“We want to give the opportunity to everyone on the team to go out there and try to get a personal result. Some of the riders usually ride to support their leaders and in this race, they will have a chance to showcase themselves. Łukasz Owsian and Will Barta will look for their chances in the breakaways and hopefully one of them will go all the way. Even though the top ten of the General Classification may be hard to achieve, we are still very motivated to do well. We will take every stage day-by-day and see where that approach will take us. We are hoping that Bevin will have a successful performance in the prologue and then we will take it from there. A good start to a race always raises morale and the team spirit for the next stages,” Baldato explained.
Bevin, the reigning New Zealand National Time Trial Champion, will make his debut at the Swiss stage race.
“I’m very excited for the Tour de Romandie where I want to showcase my skills. The time trials here are the biggest focus of my spring, so I’m very motivated to do well. It’s been a tough few weeks for me, but I feel that I bounced back and I believe I can deliver a good performance in both of the time trials. Also, some of the other stages may suit me, but we will see how things unfold,” Bevin said.
For Francisco Ventoso, who crashed out of Paris-Nice in March breaking a bone in his left hand, the Tour de Romandie will be an opportunity to get his race rhythm back.
“I’ve been feeling very well in the last few weeks and I’m looking forward to the upcoming race. My recovery process went smoothly and I had a chance to do some solid block of training – first at home and now in Sierra Nevada. My sensations during training rides are good, but I know that after such a long break from racing, the Tour de Romandie will be a tough test for me. I’ve been working very hard in the last four weeks to build my form back up, so I can help our guys get a nice result next week. I will also use this opportunity to get my racing rhythm back since it’s very important to me to be ready for one of the biggest goals of mine, the Giro d’Italia. I’m happy that I can finally pin my race number and line up at the start,” Ventoso said.
Rider Roster: Will Barta (USA), Patrick Bevin (NZ), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Łukasz Owsian (POL), Joseph Rosskopf (USA), Francisco Ventoso (ITA), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT)
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Gabriele Missaglia (ITA)