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“I’m 38 now and as the years go by you lack the rhythm and explosiveness when the season starts. So if you race a lot, you get back up to speed a lot sooner than you would through training alone,” 

Photo: Sirotti




25.01.2015 @ 15:31 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Luca Paolini is using the Tour de San Luis to get ready for the Spring Classics. He says he has to race lots to get into top shape and he is even heading out for training rides before the stages.


“Ah, it’s not a secret. I’m just looking to spin the legs in the morning and shake them out a bit, so I feel better during the stages,” Paolini told Cyclingnews. “And it’s useful when you’re trying to lose a few extra kilos too.”


“Well, I’m 38 now and what you find with the passing of the years is that you’re lacking rhythm and explosiveness when the season starts. So if you race a lot, you get back up to speed a lot sooner than you would through training alone,” Paolini said. “On top of that, I live in the north of Italy, where the weather isn’t exactly beautiful at this time of year and I’d risk losing out on too many days of training because of the rain or snow.”


To prepare for Milan-Sanremo, he is riding San Luis, the Tours of Dubai, Qatar and Oman and then Tirreno-Adriatco. Then he heads to Belgium after Sanremo and stays there for three weeks until after Roubaix before he can head home to his family.


“I prefer that to flying in and out for races. When you’re racing in Belgium you need to stay there and breathe that Belgian air,” Paolini said. “It’s a special place and when you’re there, you’re 100 per cent focused. I think if you want to do well, you need to stay in Belgium.”


He is in a team led by Alexander Kristoff but Paolini says that both men have similar styles and the Italian says he can easily fill in for Kristoff is required.


“We’ve got a similar style of racing, we don’t need a big team sheltering us or setting things up for us, we’re two guys who can get to the front by ourselves,” he said. “My objective is just to be 100 per cent at San Remo and the Classics. If Kristoff is the same, he would certainly be the captain but I’d be the second leader, for sure.”


As a proud Italian, he says that the return to Via Roma for Milan-Sanremo is the best thing for the race as it relives the history of the event.


“I think it’s a lot more emozionante. With the Via Roma, you’re going back to the history of Milan-San Remo so I’m very happy that the finish is there,” Paolini smiled, though he noted that despite the finish line’s closer proximity to the Poggio, the fundamentals of the race remain unchanged.


“It’s still a finish for a rider who has the legs – the road rises slightly so you need a lot of power,” he said. “I don’t think it will change the race. As usual, it’s still going to be dangerous just before the Cipressa, and then from the Cipressa on, Milan-San Remo begins.”




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