For the first time since 2020 La Vuelta a San Juan returns, and it promises to be a great opportunity for the sprinters to kick off their seasons.
With the team headed by Giacomo Nizzolo, Israel — Premier Tech will aim to win on the flatter stages, but with two young climbers in Stevie Williams and Matthew Riccitello, the team will have some fire power for the mountains.
Talking about his chances in the sprint finales, Giacomo Nizzolo is keen to put his hard work in the off season to good use.
“The Vuelta San a Juan is a good way to start the season. Two weeks in the heat is good for the muscles and the body in general, so it’s perfect to get ready for the races in Europe. I’ve had a good winter and I’ve got a good base. I feel now I need to work on intensity, and this race is perfect for that. This year in Argentina is the best start list so far for sprinters, so for sure it will be a good test to see where we are compared to the other sprinters. Obviously we’re going there 100% focussed, and if there’s any chance we can take, we’ll try to take it,” says Nizzolo.
Accompanying Nizzolo in the sprint train is Marco Frigo, Jens Reynders and Rick Zabel, who hope to bring their form from the off season to the race. Talking about working in the leadout train, Zabel adds:
“There are a few opportunities, but we’re not stressed over getting a result, and that’s a nice situation to be in, so we can enjoy ourselves. As we only have two or three guys in the lead out, we need to be even more clever than usual. It’s nice to be in a smaller train, where we can hide a little bit, and hook onto other trains and come from behind.”
With two brand new riders at the team, and one more coming from the development squad, La Vuelta a San Juan will be the first opportunity they have to show themselves, and learn how to work in a new team. Zabel outlines what role they will take within the team during the race:
“The young guys like Jens will help us in the sprint trains, especially with Marco Frigo, he is a strong rider who can help us. Stevie and Riccitello are climbers, so we’ll save them, as they have their own chances in the mountains.”
La Vuelta San Juan starts on the 22nd January at the Estadio Aldo Cantoni in the city of San Juan with a flat stage, which should see the sprinters take the win.
Israel – Premier Tech at La Vuelta a San Juan:
Giacomo Nizzolo, Rick Zabel, Jens Reynders, Marco Frigo, Stevie Williams, Matthew Riccitello