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"It will be an important week in which we expect a lot from Gatto, who has no excuse: he is our leader, won a beautiful classic and has the legs, strength, head and attitude to impress at the Tour of Flanders," said team manager L...

Photo: Sirotti






26.03.2013 @ 09:41 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

In shape and in the limelight following his less-than-expected win at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Oscar Gatto has been handed leadership at the VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde which kicks off today.


The Vini Fantini-Selle Italia squad is heading into the three-day Belgian race expecting results ahead of Sunday's Tour of Flanders.


"It will be an important week in which we expect a lot from Gatto, who has no excuse: he is our leader, won a beautiful classic and has the legs, strength, head and attitude to impress at the Tour of Flanders," team manager Luca Scinto told


To many observers his win at Dwars door Vlaanderen may have come as somewhat of a surprise but he has proven himself at the cobbled classics in the past. Last year Gatto was part of the early breakaway at E3 Harelbeke and looked likely to fight it out for the win until a broken rim put an end to his chances as he watched the race pass him by while helplessly waiting at the side of the road for a substitute rim.


This season, however, Gatto has really shown himself as a serious candidate for Belgian classics and he could turn out to be one to look out for during the coming days and at Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday.


By the look of things, Gatto should have sufficient support for the testing 531km tour which may provide opportunities for sprinter Francesco Chicchi who took two victories at Tour de Langkawi, along with winning the sprinter's jersey while the experienced Belgian Kevin Hulsmans is also included in the line-up.


"The next three days will have to measure and confirm Gatto's condition Sunday we will be hungry and ready to fight with the best riders in the world," added Scinto.


Vini Fantini-Selle Italia squad for VDK-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde:

Rafael Andriato (Bra), Francesco Chicchi (Ita), Francesco Failli (Ita), Mauro Finetto (Ita), Oscar Gatto (Ita), Kevin Hulsmans (Bel), Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) and Mattia Pozzo (Ita).


Starting at 14.45 today you can follow the action from De Panne live here on




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