The 26 year old Italian is certainly the next big star of sprinting. He has been with Bardiani for 2 years and now makes the move up. Lampre didn’t record a single bunch sprint victory in 2013, and he is the man to change it.
Here is my interview with Sacha:-
What a brilliant season you had: 9 wins, 5 second places and 1 third place.
What did you think of your year?
I think it was a good year even if the start of the season was affected an injury to my scaphoid and then I was not very competitive . I did not get a win in the Giro, which is important race to me. But I do not complain, I look forward to 2014.
What race gave you most satisfaction?
The victory that gave me the most satisfaction was when I beat Cavendish in Argentina.
You started off very well in Argentina, with a second place on stage 1 and then winning stage 2. How much confidence did it give you beating Cavendish?
Beating Cavendish made me realise that I can fight with the big boys. Now that I have arrived in a ProTour team, I have to do it all year round.
On stage 3A in 3 days of Panne you finished second. It was a very aggressive sprint and you had to be very strong in the closing kilometres. What do you remember of this stage?
I remember that I had a good condition . At 500m there was a right-hander to make strong and without fear of braking, and so I did. Unfortunately I came out with a gap and I wasn’t able to match Kristoff.
At the Giro d’Italia you finished second to Cavendish on the final stage but didn’t mange to threaten before then. What did you make of your Giro?
My goals were 2: Matera and Vicenza . At Matera, all was good, and I was fine but the last corner I crashed. I do not say that I would have won but I would have challenged. In Vicenza, instead I did everything to try and bring back Visconti, but we didn’t. So I was able to get a good placement but I wanted to win that day. In Brescia, I did what I am not able to do in the other stages, and anticipate Mark. It was a subdued ride and disappointing for me because as I said before, I wanted to pick up a stage victory.
You were magnificent in the Tour of Qinghai Lake, winning 6 stages and dominating Richeze of Lampre (now your teammate). Did you feel unstoppable?
I was in China! I was in, and had a fantastic train, that delivered me in a perfect way. Many said that I knocked Richeze, but shortly after he made 2nd in Eneco and in a couple of stages of the Vuelta.
The changes to the Milan-SanRemo route, means that a lot of sprinters will miss out, you finished fourth in 2010. You did the end of the course this week, what do you think of the changes? Can you make it to the end?
I like the location of Sanremo, it is very selective. I think the key point will always be the Poggio. The difference is that before coming to the hill with 40, now it will be with around 20. I think I’m suited to the path but I have to get to 110% of my condition, with a route now much tougher.
You now move to the World Tour with Lampre-Merida. How excited are you?
For me it is a starting point, it’s great to start races that I have never done. I am very excited and more concentrated.
You start again in Argentina. Can we expect some stage wins?
I go to Argentina to do well from the start. I am well prepared and I hope to be competitive right away.
Lampre-Merida will be at all three Grand Tours. Do you know which one you will ride?
This year I will do the tour de france. After 4 years of the Giro, I try another adventure.
What races are you targeting in 2014?
This year I’ll do a little bit of all the most important races. From Tirreno to Milan-Sanremo to Flanders to Roubaix. In May I will go to California and then rest before the Tour of Switzerland to prepare for the tour. After the tour there is a question mark.
What are your goals for 2014?
I want to win, no matter what race it is.