Team BAHRAIN MERIDA athletes for National Championships
National Road Championships will take place during this week in many countries and almost all the athletes belonging to BAHRAIN MERIDA Team will ride them. In particular our riders will line up for the most part in Italy, Spain and Slovenia, mainly in the Road Race on Sunday 25th and someone in the Individual Time Trial on Friday 23rd.
All our Italian riders – except for Franco Pellizotti, who is recovering from tendinitis, that forced him to abandon the Critérium of Dauphiné – will be at the Italian National Road Race Championships, that will be held in Piedmont Region on Sunday 25th. The race, called “Gran Piemonte”, will cover a distance of 236 km from Asti to Ivrea. “The course is very long” explains Sports Director Paolo Slongo “After an undulating start, there will be a climb at 5% average (with max. gradient of 11%), a fast descent and then some short hills before the final circuit of 21.3 km (4 laps) where the 2 km climb with a gradient over 10% and peaks of 15% will for sure be very challenging. Both Visconti and Colbrelli are in very good form and showed it in Slovenia. They can do well at Italian Championships as well. Nibali will come back to race after a period of rest following the Giro, to prepare the second part of the season”.
Only Manuele Boaro will ride the Individual Time Trial too, which will take place in Piedmont as well (Ciriè-Caluso 38,3 km).
In Spain the focus will be on the Individual Time Trial (Soria-Soria 43,1 km), with the defending champion Ion Izagirre, who will try to take the best time again. “He will aim to retain the Spanish title” says SD Mario Chiesa “At the Tour de Suisse Ion did well and felt good. So we are confident”. Then Izagirre will line up in the Road Race (Garray-Soria 207,3 km), together with Ivan Cortina, Javier Moreno and Ion Ander Insausti (who will ride the TT too). “We have just 4 riders, so it won’t be easy against teams with more athletes, but we will do our best” adds Chiesa “The race will be hard in particular in the final part with the 6 laps of a circuit that features a demanding climb. You need to be clever to interpret the race at best”.
A significant group of our riders will be at the Slovenian National Road Race Championships, that will be held in Kranj on a circuit of 10 km (6 laps, 160 km total). “I think the course can suit an attempt of breakaway and for that will be ready with Pibernik” comments SD Gorazd Štangelj “Otherwise we can have the chance to compete in a sprint of a reduced group with Bole, supported by Bozic. There are various solutions, let’s see according to how the race goes”.
In China Meiyin Wang will ride the Time Trial on 24th, the Criterium on 25th and the Road Race on 26th, while Tsgabu Grmay will compete in Ethiopia both in Individual Time Trial and in Road Race.
Italian National Championships
Road Race: Agnoli Valerio, Manuele Boaro, Niccolò Bonifazio, Sonny Colbrelli, Enrico Gasparotto, Antonio Nibali, Vincenzo Nibali, Giovanni Visconti
Individual Time Trial: Manuele Boaro
Spanish National Championships
Road Race: Ion Ander Insausti, Ion Izagirre, Ivan Cortina, Javier Moreno
Individual Time Trial: Ion Izagirre, Ion Ander Insausti
Slovenian National Championships
Road Race: Grega Bole, Borut Bozic, Janez Brajkovic, Luka Pibernik, David Per, Domen Novak