Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Roma Maxima 2013: Promo And Preview

It's a busy weekend of racing coming up with Strade Bianche on Saturday and the start of Paris-Nice on Sunday (There will be an in depth look at both here soon) but there is also a new kid in town and those likely to race the Strade Bianche may also take to the road on Sunday in the new Roma Maxima single day race.

The race is being promoted as 'new' but there has been an Italian Classic in this spot since 1938 in the guise of the Giro del Lazio which disappeared from the calendar in 2008 - returning now as the 'Roma Maxima'. The race will host 16 teams including 9 WorldTour teams and some quality riders who will take to a course designed to take in 'modern and ancient Rome', indeed the finish should be quite beautiful on the Via del Fori Imperiali, in the shadow of the Coliseum.

Organisors say the race will take in many points of interest: “The start will be on the Via dei Fori Imperiali in the centre of Rome, before joining the Appian Way. There will then be loops through the Roman Castels – Rocca Massima, Rocca Priora, Campi di Annibale, Albano Laziale and Cappuccini."

The course is lumpy but a sprint finish more than possible for those capable of mixing it with the puncheurs on some short but steep climbs. Keep your eyes out for a very in-form Alejandro Valverde who will look to top a good month of wins at Vuelta a Andalucia and the Trofeo DeiĆ  with victory here. There will of course be plenty of Italians trying to get in his way including Damiano Cunego (Lampre Merida), Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) and Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini- Selle Italia).

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