Second tour of the Championships’ circuit for the Italian National team. The Toscana 2013 Championships will take place in less than one month (22nd-29th September) and yesterday, the men of the Time Trial (Adriano Malori for the Men’s Elite category and Mattia Frapporti for the Under 23) visited the course for the first time. Today, a much bigger group of racers (more than 20) tested the different Road Race courses. All of this happened under the direction of the coaches Paolo Bettini (professionals) and Marco Villa (Under 23 and Junior), with the collaboration of Rino De Candido and Gabriele Balducci.
The athletes met up at the Mandela Forum in Florence at 9AM and tried out the hurdles of the Fiesole circuit. During the training session, which was thought for the Junior Men, the Under 23 and the professional racers, the athletes stopped by Piazza Duomo to meet Enrico Rossi, Governor of the Region Tuscany. Rossi welcomed the athletes on behalf of the Region and took a moment to exchange a couple of words with the coach in front of the media and tourists. After the meeting, the Italian team continued its tour of the courses, trying out the climbs and finding the right ratios.
At the end of the tour, the aces of the team issued a few statements:
Paolo Bettini (Coach of the Italian national team – Pro). “We tried the course with a group of athletes who still hadn’t tried it. The course really deserves to be a Championships’ track, because it is beautiful, challenging and very worthy under the technical point of view. There are a lot of expectations, it is the first time the Championships take place in Tuscany. We should do our best to pay homage to the memory of Ballerini and dedicate 100% of our efforts to Alfredo Martini”.
Enrico Battaglin (professional of the Bardiani Valvole Csf Bardiani): “It is a very tough course. The Fiesole climb is very hard, challenging and it will work a selection of athletes, just like the following part. It is a very, very tough course. After the injury at the Giro d’Italia and a period of pause, I started training again and now I’m ready.”
Marco Villa (Coach Under 23 and Junior national team). “The course is tough. There is a long climb which in the final part – if raced fast enough – can really make a difference. Then there is a very hard final segment. I really believe that for professionals, under 23 and junior athletes the last lap will be crucial. Who still has strength can really change the course of the race. We will arrive there still in good shape”.
Andrea Zordan (Italian U23 champion): “In my opinion, it will be a tough Championship, without any breaks. The climb is not impossible with my characteristics, because in a 5-6% climb you can do well even following closely other racers. The final segment will be really hard, especially in the last two to three laps. I really like the course, and I hope I’ll do well. The cyclist of the Zalf Euromobil Desirèe Fior also has an idea of who the most worrying rivals might be: “France is definitely the nation to beat, and Australia too”.
Rino De Candido (technical collaborator of the Junior National team). “The course is beautiful and demanding. There will be a natural selection starting from the first laps. The descent after Fiesole will definitely make the difference between the two groups. I hope I can manage to bring forward a nice group, one able to compete with the strongest nations, despite the fact that there are some nations who are working extraordinarily well such as France and the Netherlands”.
Simone Velasco (Junior). “I really like the track. There is a 3-4km climb, then a long, technical descent where it is important to keep the lead because there could be some attacks. And the final segment is an outright wall. I think that that is where we will see the difference; there, and on the 200-300 metres of slight slope following the climb”.
The Road Race dedicated to the Under 23 will be run on Friday 27th September and will run on a 173,19 km course starting from Montecatini at 1PM. The Junior men’s race will be on the 28th of September on a 140,05km course (starting at 8.30 from Montecatini Terme). The Men’s Elite race, closing event of these Championships, will be on the 29th of September, and will se athletes fight on a 272,26km track leaving from Lucca at 10AM.