Tour of Croatia – IAM Cycling’s pre-Giro rehearsal
THE OBJECTIVE: “Obviously, I hope to win a stage,” Matteo Pelucchi readily admitted. “Since early in the season, we have been working hard to build up a sprint train for me. At the Tour of Croatia, we want to have it work seamlessly, as if second nature. It is a perfect opportunity for us to practice before the Giro. If I do manage to win a stage, it will be a great boon to our confidence with the month of May coming.”
THE TRAINING: “I have not had that many days of racing so far this year,” the Italian sprinter Pelucchi continued. “In order to be able to have my form peak for the Giro, I need to find the rhythm of competition again. Recently, the Circuit de la Sarthe helped me open up my legs a bit. At the Tour of Croatia, I expect to see my form improve day by day. But even with that, I believe that I am in good enough condition to bring a victory to the team.”
THE TACTICS: IAM Cycling plans on leaving its mark on the Croatian roads for this, the first time the team will compete at this race. Directeur sportif Eddy Seigneur has formulated his plan of battle. “Matteo Pelucchi will spearhead our assault. Two or three of the stages will certainly be conducive to mass sprint finishes. But I also want to see the team be a force in other areas besides the sprints. I expect to see the riders be aggressive and authoritative. The competition does not scare us; on the contrary, it’s more invigorating.”
THE SURPRISE: Jonathan Fumeaux. “The general classification will not be our priority,” Seigneur explained. “But with a summit finish at Učka, someone like Jonathan Fumeaux could certainly pull off something special. He might be able to take some precious seconds. And that could prove useful especially considering the team time trial will be held the following day. It’s always gripping to compete in a team time trial, but when you have a place in the general classification to defend, it is even more motivating.”
Tour de Croatie (Mardi 19 Avril au Dimanche 24 Avril)
Mardi 19 Avril : Osijek – Varazdin 235,31km (10h – 15h41)
Mercredi 20 Avril : Np Plitvička Jezera – Split 240km (9h45 – 15h38)
Jeudi 21 Avril: Makarska – Sibenik 189,8km (11h – 15h41)
Vendredi 22 Avril : Crikvenica – Učka 122,1km (12h25 – 15h41)
Samedi 23 Avril : Chrono par équipes Poreč – Umag 40,3km (14h15 – 14h58)
Dimanche 24 Avril : Sveti Martin Na Muri – Zagreb 177,5km (12h13 – 16h10)
Marcel Aregger (S)
Jonathan Fumeaux (S)
Sondre Holst Enger (Nor)
Leigh Howard (Aus)
Pirmin Lang (S)
Simon Pellaud (S)
Matteo Pelucchi (It)
Jonas Van Genechten (Bel).
Directeurs sportifs: Eddy Seigneur, Lionel Marie.
Entraîneur: Marcello Albasini.