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Trofeo Laigueglia 61 st edition 28 February 2024

202 km long and let's hope for better weather then last year's pouring rain - UAE come with Ayuso and Herschi so they're big favs.
Startlist at https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/trofeo-laigueglia/2024/startlist
Roadbook in Italian and English at

TV from 14.30 CET - might be only on RAI (like last year) but a certain 3 letter website might well have it. Start 11.00 CET
Piggybacking off last year's OP, here's the route in a bit more detail:
Cima Paravenna:


The circuit
Effectively four laps (they join it like 100 metres after the finish line), featuring the nasty Colla Micheri followed by another tricky descent and the easy Capo Mele, from the side descended in Sanremo.
Colla Micheri:

Capo Mele:
Besides Jarno Widar this will also mark the pro debut of Simone Gualdi, very much a bright spot in Italy's future. Also debuting is a personal favorite of mine: Ciro Perez. Uruguay nomaaaa.

I am so confused as to why Intermarché is able to sign this talents honestly.

It's great tho.

Btw Widar didn't have the best winter apparently and also got sick 2 weeks ago (5 days of the bike meaning he missed his debut at Haut Var) so not sure what to expect. Also will probably be thrown into the ditch by some wind gust probably with his 50 kilos.
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I am so confused as to why Intermarché is able to sign this talents honestly.
The devo team has an appealing program for young riders. The training is structured without being too strict.
They also give the rider a clear path to a contract with the WT team if everything goes according to plan, plus they mix in a few pro races in the rider's schedule to let him gain experience.
That's what Busatto told me last year and I guess it's the same for Gualdi.

Young Italian riders tend to sign for teams where they can find other Italian riders, because for most of them the language barrier is a real challenge. There are exceptions to this rule of course (see Germani) but it can make a difference. For example DSM has a rather strict policy about not speaking your native tongue with other riders from your country and that can take a toll on young fellas. Milesi mentioned this aspect as one of the reasons he wanted to leave DSM.
I am so confused as to why Intermarché is able to sign this talents honestly.

It's great tho.
IMHO they have somewhat of a nice reputation as a team that provides opportunities both for riders on the twilight of their careers who try to revive for a last nice contract (Kristoff, Costa, Teunissen to a lesser extent) and youngsters who are starting their career. Almost every rider that leaves the team does it on very good terms (except for Quinten Hermans and probably Bakelants, though the latter I think it was Jan's fault due to not accepting the end of his career) and the impression is the good atmosphere on the team is not just a PR stunt.

Plus, they offer a clear pathway and a nice program just from the scratch even to riders signing for their Devo team. In almost every non-WT race they feature a rider from the feeder team and have given real opportunities to show themselves (Busatto in 2022, Huub Artz is making a great impression this year).

Apart from the super teams, there are not much better teams to start a WT career than Intermarché.

PS: I left the message as draft and have seen Safebet basically shared the same idea with feedback from the inside.