BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team ready for Vuelta a San Juan with Vincenzo Nibali as captain
Friday, 20th January – 35th edition of the Vuelta a San Juan, one of the classics of South American calendar, is starting on Monday.
The race has 7 stages; 5 are in line with a probable sprint finish, one is 12km individual time trial and the last one, “Queen Stage”, with the finish at the top of Alto Colorado, has a 15km climb with maximum gradient of 7 % and an average of 4.5 %.
“The team is ready,” says sports director Paolo Slongo. “We have worked well in the past months and here in San Juan the team is competitive and can do well, both uphill and in the ITT. The two unknowns are the heat and the South American riders who are in the middle of the season so far ahead in the preparation than their European colleagues.”
For the ITT the team can count on three very strong athletes: Manuele Boaro, Ramūnas Navardauskas and Kanstantsin Siutsou. The latter said: “The route is suitable for those who develop a lot of strength and manage to push big gears. Me and my mates – we can aim for a good result.”
In addition to the time trial, the Argentine race has a very specific climb towards the end. “It is not so much the slope,” said Vincenzo Nibali at the end of the reconnaissance, “but we found a great heat, headwind and the altitude above 2500 meters to be an extra element of difficulty.” At his side will be two experienced riders, Valerio Agnoli and Franco Pellizotti, who will help the captain in what appears to be the decisive stage of the Tour.
Beside BAHRAIN MERIDA team another three WorldTour teams, six European professional teams, different continental teams from South America and the national representatives from Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile will be at the start in San Juan.
BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team