The Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team's roster for Trofeo Piva Sunday will include Ruben Guerreiro, winner of G.P. Palio del Recioto.
Guerreiro delivered the team its first victory of its European program Monday by being part of a long breakaway and beating Michal Schlegel (Klein Constantia) in a two-up sprint. Joining him on Axeon's five-man roster is Will Barta, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Latvian Under 23 national road champion Krists Neilands and Logan Owen.
Neilands, who joined Guerreiro in the breakaway at G.P. Palio del Recioto and worked hard to help it stay clear, said the team's morale is high for the 179.8-km race in Italy.
"The attitude of the team after Ruben's win is really good," he said. "Everyone on the team did an amazing job together and we all are proud and ready for next races. Like the saying goes, 'The bag is open, now we just need to take it.' "
Last year, Geoghegan Hart was the team's best finisher at Trofeo Piva, in sixth. Already this season, the British rider has six top 10 finishes.
Neilands said he has heard from teammates that the race is hard one. After a 20 km rollout, the race hits seven laps of an 18.6 km circuit, then finishes with a 29 km segment.
"There are a lot of uphills and many good riders will be on the start line," Neilands said. "All races in Italy are hard, but this is one of those races where you can show how strong you are."
Trofeo Piva roster (April 3): Will Barta (USA), Ruben Guerriero (POR), Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR) Krists Neilands (LAT), Logan Owen (USA). Sport Director: Axel Merckx (BEL).