Etixx – Quick-Step to Gran Piemonte
Fernando Gaviria will lead the team at the century-old Italian one-day race.
Victorious two weeks ago in the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem, Fernando Gaviria returns to action at the 100th edition of Gran Piemonte, a race won by some of cycling's biggest champions, from Costante Girardengo to Alfredo Binda and from Gino Bartali to Eddy Merckx. Running from Diano d'Alba to Aglie, the 200km mostly flat course favours the sprinters, but also the finisseurs, who will try to steal the victory on the slightly uphill finish in Piazza del Castello with a late attack.
Fernando, for whom Gran Piemonte will be one of the final races before flying to Doha for the World Championships, will be joined by Rodrigo Contreras, Laurens De Plus, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin, last year's runner-up.
Sport director Davide Bramati gave his take on the parcours: "Piemonte is a nice race, with more or less the same final section of last year, which will most likely see a winner emerge from a reduced bunch sprint. A 5km-long climb coming with 28 kilometers to go can split the peloton and provide a launch pad for attacks, but the group can very well come back before the finish. We will try to go for Fernando on Thursday, but we are keeping our options open, depending on what will happen in the final 30 kilometers."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele