Pozzato craves a classic

Filippo Pozzato believes he’s poised to win at least one major classic this spring and he could care less which one it is.

Filippo Pozzato believes he’s poised to win at least one major classic this spring and he could care less which one it is.

Already a winner of Milan-San Remo in 2006, the reigning Italian champion is setting his sights high in 2010 as he makes a major push for the spring classics.

“(Het Nieuwsblad) is a race that’s close to my heart because I won it already, after that, I will go for them all – San Remo, Flanders, Roubaix, Amstel Gold and Liège,” Pozzato told Belgian daily La Derniere Heure. “Liège could be a little hard for me, but a race like Amstel Gold seems right up my alley.”

Pozzato made his season debut last month at the San Luís tour in Argentina and recently completed Tour of Qatar. He’s racing at the Tour of Oman before heading back to Europe.

The 28-year-old Pozzato enjoyed a fine debut season with Katusha last year, notching six victories, including his long-sought-after Italian national title.

Second at Paris-Roubaix and fifth at Tour of Flanders, Pozzato believes he’s ready to win either one of the northern monuments.

His first goal is Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, followed by Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo before setting his sights on the northern classics.

“Tom (Boonen) will be the man to beat because he’s such a specialist in these types of races. Tom is something else on the pavé,” Pozzato said. “Last year, Tom was stronger than me, but I try not to forget that no one is unbeatable.”

After a likely trip back to the Tour de France, Pozzato says the worlds will be an important late-season goal.

“The course is ideal for my qualities,” he said of the Australian worlds route. “The sprinters will be there, but it’s a long, hard race and anything can happen. Boonen showed it could be done. I will make a good effort for the worlds this year.”