The team is a mix of both new and experienced riders at Milano-Sanremo. The 2014 edition of Milano-Sanremo will be the 14th participation for Alessandro Petacchi, who managed to finish in places 1 through 8 at least once so far. He won in 2005. Jan Bakelants and Iljo Keisse, meanwhile, will race Milano-Sanremo for the first time.
This is a beautiful Classic that I look forward to every year. Despite the race being so long, it always comes down to the final kilometers. As a team we must stay focused and try not to do any mistakes, as every moment there is an opportunity to lose the race. We have a strong team that can be a factor no matter how Milano-Sanremo plays out. As always anything can happen, and we are ready with a team that is motivated and has already had some races together this season. Of course the race can also be influenced by this weather, as they are predicting rain. So, any plans can be thrown out the window quickly for all of the teams. We have to be ready to adapt.
It’s always an honor to race at Milano-Sanremo. This year, for me, the race goes how it goes. I might win it, and that’s why I’m riding. I might get dropped, and I might not. If it comes to a sprint, I’m the best opportunity we have if it comes to that. If I don’t race this year, I might regret it. I had a win in 2009 and a top 10 last year, there is always that possibility. There’s 200 guys on the start line that can possibly win. It’s not like that at any other race. There are so many variables at Milano-Sanremo, and that is what makes it beautiful. It’s not an easy race just because it ends in a sprint. Anyone on the start line can win and there is no other Classic or race like that. It’s a long race, the easiest to finish, but the hardest to win. I am just really happy to have the opportunity to try.
I’m ready for Milano-Sanremo. My condition is good. I did some cyclocross races and won Worlds, then I trained a lot. I did Tour of Oman and there I didn’t feel so good, then I was at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and there I had so much cold!I didn’t really know where I was with my condition, but I did well at Paris-Nice even if the last day I paid a bit for my efforts. I trained in Mallorca this week and the feeling is good. I will do my best at Milano-Sanremo, a race that I love. I don’t really know what can happen in a race of 300 kilometers. The final will be nervous, so it will be very important to save energy in the first part. Especially if it will rain. I’m looking forward to ride this race, it’s a true Classic. Two years ago I couldn’t even imagine riding this race!