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"Ok, Paolini won Gent-Wevelgem, Bonifazio amazed in Sanremo. But in Flanders and Roubaix we were non-existent. We were missing riders near the front. I do not want to trivialize but the fact of having only one WorldTeam penal...

Photo: Sirotti








04.01.2016 @ 13:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Davide Cassani is ready to lead Italy in 2016. The Italian national coach made his debut in 2015 and will have his first job at the Tour de San Luis where he kicks off a busy season loaded with commitments.


La Gazzetta dello Sport asked Cassai to take stock of the current situation in Italian cycling.


"Overall, it was a decent season for Italy,” he told the Italian paper. ”If we think of the stage races, it was excellent. Aru’s victory in the Vuelta after finishing second in the Giro is of enormous value. Nibali still finished 4th in the Tour. Not all years are equal and he has also been unlucky. 


”After so many years, we again won a classic with Trentin at Paris-Tours but the year is still bad . Ok, Paolini won Gent-Wevelgem, Bonifazio amazed in Sanremo. But in Flanders and Roubaix we were non-existent. We were missing riders near the front. I do not want to trivialize but the fact of having only one WorldTeam penalizes us.”


"Malori got a historic silver medal in the time trial in Richmond. Everything about him is good, including his consistency,” added Cassani. “The road race was but we had no rider for that course.”


The attention of Cassani then turned to the future talent by identifying some names that could lead Italy in the future: 


"Formolo is very strong. It was not by chance that he won a stage in the Giro with a great performance. one-day races we have Felline  who has grown a lot: he is fast and is strong in the time trial. Bravo. He is ready to explode, just like Trentin, Nizzolo and Viviani but they must have some room from their teams. Moser? His great Worlds time trial is a performance that we can work on. We believe in him and Moreno cannot be a lost rider. Indeed, I hope this year will be better.” 


Speaking of goals for next season Cassani has confidence, especially for the Olympics.


"Without doubt, we have more cards at the Olympics because the route is very hard and we can rely on Nibali. Aru will be at his side and roughly I already have selected the other three. From January 11 to 14, we will go to Rio to see the course. 


“For the Worlds, we have good sprinters but the others are at a higher level. But I follow Sbaragli’s growth with interest because victory in the Vuelta is a great sign.”


Cassani also gave his opinion on Luca Paolini’s case. The coach had always regarded the Katusha rider as an example for the youngsters.


"Cocaine is a big problem, which is beyond the sport and it is not doping. They are personal matters that take control.”



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