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"I am feeling really well right now and I am glad to be back on the roads for Giro del Trentino. I appreciate this race because it brought me success in the past. Giro del Trentino also underlines the beginning of an imp...

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AG2R LA MONDIALE

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AXEL DOMONT

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DOMENICO POZZOVIVO

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GUILLAUME BONNAFOND

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HUBERT DUPONT

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JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PÉRAUD

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ROMAIN BARDET

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TOUR OF THE ALPS

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18.04.2016 @ 14:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

There is growing expectations in the Trentino valleys, looking forward to welcome a number of big names of cycling over four days of spectacular and unpredictable race, from April 19th to 22nd, 2016.

 

Standing out among the favorites are Vincenzo Nibali of Astana – who already has two GdTM trophies on his shelf – and Spaniard Mikel Landa of Team Sky, who sent an eloquent message to his rivals by winning Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage 2. But behind them, there is the French juggernaut: Ag2r La Mondiale will show up in Trentino with three riders aiming for the big goal.

 

The first option is Romain Bardet, the 25-year-old French climber, winner of a great stage at 2015 Tour de France: a strong attacking rider both up and downhill. Last year, Bardet chose Giro del Trentino Melinda for the first time as ideal setup for Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and he opted for the same programme this year to repeat the assault to the Doyenne, and to the podium in Cles.

 

Romain Bardet will compete again three weeks after his Volta Ciclista a Catalunya GC 6th place. The young rider from Auvergne has been training at high altitude for ten days with Mikaël Cherel. Both of them accumulated 28 hours of training sessions and climbed over 20 000 meters in difference of height. 

 

Closing in on his 39th birthday, Jean-Christophe Peraud comes off an unimpressive season, but two years ago he managed to finish 2nd in the Tour de France won by Vincenzo Nibali: in this season, the former biker set his target on the Giro d’Italia, and chose Giro del Trentino Melinda as the race that – in the common opinion – represents the best possible preparation for the Corsa Rosa.

 

Bardet and Peraud share the responsibility of bringing France back on the top spot of Giro del Trentino Melinda’s podium, 19 years after the first and only French success in the race history, claimed by Luc Leblanc back in 1997. Also in that edition, the race trespassed to Austria, just like the last time a Frenchman wore the leader’s fuchsia jersey: in 2013, Maxime Bouet won the opening half-stage in Lienz and managed to hold on the jersey until the final stage to Sega di Ala, that ultimately rewarded Vincenzo Nibali.

 

AG2R will also line-up Domenico Pozzovivo, who already won the Giro del Trentino Melinda in 2012 after conquering the extreme climb to Punta Veleno, and also claimed a stage win in 2015 in Valle dei Mocheni. The short-sized Italian climber always gives his best in Trentino, and is a lock in the pursuit for the fuchsia jersey.

 

"I decided to rest a little bit after Volta ciclista a Catalunya (27th March)," he said. "Honestly, my results were at a low ebb and this interruption was exactly what I needed. I started again to train on high altitude roads in Italy, near the Austrian border. I stayed at the hotel during nine days at an altitude of 3200 meters.

 

"I am feeling really well right now and I am glad to be back on the roads for Giro del Trentino. I appreciate this race because it brought me success in the past. Giro del Trentino also underlines the beginning of an important week that will end with Liège-Bastogne-Liège. As a kid I dreamed often about riding that specific race. In my career I had the chance to participate two times and I always finished in the top 10 (8th last year and 5th in 2014). In other words, I can feel I am able to do a great performance this year."

 

Domenico Pozzovivo has already won twelve races since he became professional in 2005. Among them we can count three stage victories (2010-2012-2015) and one General Classification win (2012) at Giro del Trentino.

 

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