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by Mark Zalewski
March 1, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Mareczko wins second Langkawi stage sprint; Hurel wins La Tropicale Amissa Bongo stage 2; Is Specialized pressuring riders to use disc brakes? Yes and no; Professional Cyclists Association sends legal warning to UCI over disc brakes; Pauline Ferrand-Prévot to race on the road, starting at Strade Bianche; Debate over proposal to reduce Grand Tour team sizes ongoing; Boonen alters race plan due to illness, crashes; Iranian Team Pishgaman suspended for multiple doping positives; 2018 Tour de France Grand Départ announced; Lotto-Soudal to be Lotto-Fix ALL for Paris-Nice; Tour de Langkawi, stage 6 highlights; Video: UCI Track World Cup Los Angeles highlights; Video: Paris-Nice teaser; Peter Sagan downs gummy bears post-race.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will have her first race with the Canyon-SRAM team at Strade Bianche this Saturday, her first race in seven months since the Rio Olympics. The young French star has been public with her feelings of early burnout from racing three disciplines of cycling — road, cyclocross and mountain — but believes she is ready to race and makes her debut for the team.
“I think I’m in good shape but you don’t really know until you’re in the race. I’m looking forward to joining my teammates again since our December training camp in Mallorca,” she said. “I want to be good enough that I can help my team on Saturday. Already I am excited and a little nervous.”
Ferrand-Prévot will be joined by Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Alexis Ryan and Trixi Worrack for the third edition of the classic Italian race.
“I like Strade Bianche a lot. To me it shows the real cycling with hard climbs and gravel roads,” said Amialiusik. “There’s no chance to relax, it’s full gas from the beginning to the finish. You have to use your brains and your legs and be willing to suffer the whole time. The race showcases beauty, strength, and panache of cycling.”
Italian road champion Elena Cecchini is especially looking forward to racing on home roads in her national champion jersey. “For me it’s special because it’s in Italy and I feel really proud of the cycling tradition and our culture,” said Cecchini. “I’m wearing the tricolore jersey, my family and fans will be there cheering, and so it would be even more special to perform well on Saturday.”