MTN-Qhubeka look for more Italian success
Team MTN-Qhubeka will line up in Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in Italy on Wednesday.
The race takes place over five days and is six stages long. The opening day is made up of two stages where stage 1a is only 99.5km long, then stage 1b will feature a team time trial in the afternoon over 11.2km.
Italian Kristian Sbaragli is looking forward to the race in his home country after recently completing two WorldTour events, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan Sanremo where he was part of the winning team.
“I feel really good after experiencing racing at a WorldTour level," said Sbaragli. "I am feeling good on the bike and hope to do well this week. The opening stage really suits me as well as the last stage on Sunday.
"I know that it will be a very hard race with some of the biggest teams in the world here but I will give my best and nothing is impossible if I have good legs.”
The race also features an individual time trial on Saturday, in which Jay Thomson will be looking to excel. Before winning the national road race title in Nelspruit recently, Thomson took silver in the national time trial championships.
“I have a bit of a cold after the crazy weather at Milan Sanremo but I feel ok,” Thomson said. “The TT will definitely be a goal for me and I’ll give it a good bash even though it’s only 14km long.”
Ferekalsi Debesay (ERI), Meron Russom (ERI), Jay Thomson (RSA), Kristian Sbaragli (ITA), Jaco Venter (RSA), Songezo Jim (RSA), Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Staff: Pietro Algeri (Directeur Sportif), Yvonne Houweling (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Daniele Nierie (Mechanic)