WEST Australian cyclist Anthony Giacoppo is out to prove he is the king of south-west roads today.
The 26-year-old Genesys Wealth Advisors team member returns to the south-west in blistering form and will line up for his fourth Melbourne to Warrnambool as a firm favourite, after claiming the four-leg Scody Cup series last week.
The Scody Cup is made up of four national road series (NRS) tours, including the tour of the Great South Coast held around the south-west in August, where Giacoppo claimed a narrow five-second victory over Drapac team member Darren Lapthorne.
He sits second in the NRS title on 506 points, 44 points behind Budget Forklifts’ Luke Davison.
Giacoppo said his sights were now firmly set on taking the NRS title. “I set myself the goal of taking out the Scody Cup at the start of the season,” he said.
“Now I’ve done that I want to go one better and bag the NRS. It’s been a bit of a back and forth tussle this year, the lead has changed at the end of each race. But now it’s at the point where only three or four of us can win it.”
Giacoppo said he was feeling confident he could do well.
“My aims are to win and to do well enough to take the points to shore up the NRS.
“It’s a tough race but it suits my strengths, there are only a couple of solid climbs which will help get rid of some of the sprinters,” he said.
“It will be a case of looking after myself and saving the legs for the climbs to stave off any major breakaways.”
He said he expected Davison and Mark O’Brien to put up a strong challenge today.
“And the riders from Drapac have good legs for the longer races,” he said.
Giacoppo will also aim to defend his title in the Shipwreck Coast Classic tomorrow.
He said he wasn’t fussed to be taking on the 117-kilometre race the morning after riding 262 kilometres. “I actually don’t mind it, as long as the legs are feeling good. A lot of the others don’t like it, but it doesn’t worry me.
“It’s another NRS event, so I’m keen to grab some points and to defend my title from last year,” he said.