Sports Director Valerio Piva said that CCC Team is lining up with a strong and motivated group of riders that has had success at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana previously.
“The first race of the season is always a test to see where everyone is and what their condition is like. The parcours is a bit different this year and it has a very difficult mountain stage, the final climb of which we have been able to recon at training camp. This is definitely where the General Classification will be won. I think Greg and Matteo, who both won stages here last year, will be our two biggest cards to play and I think we can use the strengths of both riders on the different stages. Overall, we can be confident with the riders we have on the start line. This will also be the first time that the core members of our Classics group race together so we also want to use this opportunity to test how they can work with one another, which will be important as we look ahead to the bigger objectives that we have this season, ” Piva explained.
Van Avermaet is happy to return to Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana for a fourth consecutive year and will be looking to test his early-season form.
“It is always nice to line up at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana because we are already here for our training camp and we know the region and the roads well. Last year, I was able to win a stage here so, it is always good to go back to a place where you have won before and I think it is one of the best races to start the season in Europe. We are all motivated and, as always, we will try to race to win but even though that is important, the main goal will be to test my shape and to see where we all are after the winter,” Van Avermaet said.
“This year’s stages are not completely in my favor with some sprint stages and one really hard stage but we will try to do our best and hopefully I can be up there and get close to the victory on one stage. Our Classics group knows each other really well and it’s just Matteo joining us this year but obviously he is a strong rider and a good addition to our group so it will also be good to start working with him early in the season and see what we can do together.”
Trentin is motivated about lining up in CCC Team colors for the first time at the five-day stage race.
“I am really looking forward to making my debut with the team and I can’t wait to show off my new orange jersey. Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana is always a good way to start the season as there is a little bit of everything. Although there won’t be a time trial this year, there is still a couple of hard stages, a couple of sprint stages and a middle mountain stage so it is a good race to get back into the swing of racing. I won a stage of this race last year so, if I can try and do that again it would be perfect but, the main goal is definitely to make myself feel like a bike racer again because training is always different from racing. I want to get back into the rhythm of things at this race and start working with my new teammates because, for me, the most important thing will be to create a nice group atmosphere that will allow us to work towards the biggest goals of the season,” Trentin explained.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (5 – 9 February)
Rider roster: Víctor de la Parte (ESP), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Piotr Wadecki (POL)