CCC Sprandi Polkowice will kick off the series of Italian, autumn one-day races with Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze (September 13th), Coppa Bernocchi (September 14th) and Memorial Marco Pantani (September 16th, all cat. 1.1).
First two “classics” are held near Milan, on undulating course. Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze is the hardest one of these two, as three demanding hills spread out on a 24-kilometer lap, tackled four times, should reduce the field. Long descent towards the finish line in Lissone may also be used by some attackers to launch a late move. Classic riders are expected to perform well in this 200-kilometer event and should me mentioned among the top favorites.
Coppa Bernocci which will take place the next day is more sprinters-friendly. Although it doesn’t mean that it will be completely flat. There are 195 kilometers are on the menu and they include seven 16,7-kilometers hilly laps, with one categorized climb. In previous years the race has been won mostly by sprinters, but last time it was Vincenzo Nibali who broke that pattern and took an unexpected victory. Thus, anything may happen.
Fast riders should also be in the contention to win Memorial Marco Pantani. This race will start and finish in Cesenatico, hometown of the “Pirate” and a town where he was buried in. Pantani was known for his climbing skills, but the memorial is not a climbers’ race. Even though the route features three ascents in Montevecchio, with maximum gradient of 15%, the final 40km of racing are flat, so groups may come back together for a bunch sprint.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice has named the same lineup for the first two one-day events. It will be led by Simone Ponzi and Felix Grossscharnter. The former can cope with smaller hills and deliver at the finish, while the latter can ride aggressively in hilly terrain. Jan Hirt will try to shake things up in the climbs, while Kamil Małecki, Michał Paluta and Piotr Brożyna will help the leaders out.
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze (13.09, 1.1) and Coppa Bernocchi (14.09, 1.1): Simone Ponzi, Felix Grossschartner, Jan Hirt, Kamil Małecki, Michał Paluta, Piotr Brożyna
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Memoriał Marco Pantaniego (16.09): Simone Ponzi, Felix Grossschartner, Jan Hirt, Kamil Małecki, Michał Paluta