Izagirre will headline Team BAHRAIN MERIDA in Switzerland
Team BAHRAIN MERIDA will warm-up for the Tour de France in the Switzerland’s most important cycling race: the Tour de Suisse (from June 10th to June 18th).
The nine-day stage race is seen as an ideal test of form for the contenders of the Grande Boucle. Among them Ion Izagirre, who is last year’s second-place finisher and will headline the squad in the upcoming Tour de Suisse. On the menu three stages for climbers – among them the Queen Stage to the Tiefenbachferner Glacier – and some chances for sprinters too, completed with an opening and a closing Time-Trial.
“The plan is clear” – says Sports Director Harald Morscher -“We will ride to target the final podium, maybe even trying to take the overall win with Ion. We have a strong squad for that purpose, with riders like Moreno, Grmay and Cink, that will give a great support for sure. Anyway, Izagirre is back from the Teide training camp – where he did a good work – and of course, on the Suisse roads he will test his condition first of all”.
“I feel very well after the altitude training camp” – confirms the Spaniard Ion Izagirre – “It’s the first time that I’ve trained together with a group of teammates under the direction of the coach, with masseur and mechanics. I’m happy of this new good experience with Team BAHRAIN MERIDA and in Switzerland I’m going to check my form ahead of my next main aim: the Tour de France”.
The roster for the Tour de Suisse is completed with Agnoli and Gasparotto, both returning from the Giro and Bonifazio: “We will be looking for stage wins too” adds SD Morscher “At the Tour de Suisse there are not many pure sprinters, because the route is quite hard. If Niccolò will be able to overcoming the climbs, as we think, he can show his qualities and his good form trying to sprint to victory. I will bet on Gasparotto too, because he is motivated and if he recovers well from the strains of the Giro, he can even try to win the stage with finish in Cevio, nearby his hometown”.
Hors d’oeuvre of the Tour de Suisse is the G.P. des Kantons Aargau (188.7 km, 10 laps of 18.87 km), a one-day race that starts and finishes in Gippingen, in the Swiss canton Aargau on Thursday 8th.
“We do not hide that our aim is the victory” – explains Sports Director Harald Morscher -“I believe that Bonifazio has the chance to do well there. He is in form and even if the course is not totally flat, it can suited him and with the support of his teammates we can try to take it. We will line-up a six-man squad, because of the failure of Visconti due to tendinitis and of Haussler who feels again pain on his knee and prefer not to take any risk and recover well”.
Then, the same squad of the Tour de Suisse will line-up at Gippingen, with the exception of Agnoli and Gasparotto.
Team BAHRAIN MERIDA roster for the GP GIPPINGEN:
Niccolò BONIFAZIO, Ondrej CINK, Ivan CORTINA, Tsgabu GRMAY, Ion IZAGIRRE, Javier MORENO
Team BAHRAIN MERIDA roster for the TOUR DE SUISSE:
Valerio AGNOLI, Niccolò BONIFAZIO, Ondrej CINK, Ivan CORTINA, Enrico GASPAROTTO Tsgabu GRMAY, Ion IZAGIRRE, Javier MORENO