Place 7 - Moreno Moser
Rider type: Allrounder – Classics
Biggest success: Two stages, GiroBio
Team 2011: Lucchini Maniva Ski
Stagiaire: Liquigas - Cannondale
Team 2012: Liquigas-Cannondale
Best Mock List ranking: -
In Italy, the name Moser is well-known for many years to stand for quality in Italian cycling. Moreno is the son of Diego Moser, the brother of Leonardo Moser and the nephew of Francesco Moser. So it is no surprise that Moreno is currently riding as a stagiaire for Liquigas and has already signed with them for the 2012 season. But he owes this engagement not only to his family, but also to a series of good-to-strong performances.
To follow Moreno's career, one must go back to 2007 and 2008, Moser's time as a junior. In 2007 he could win six races, and in 2008 he exactly doubled that, bringing in 12 victories. That made him the highest-winning junior in Italy in his year. This was followed by numerous top five placings. His biggest success was surely the win in the difficult Tour du Pays de Vaud in Switzerland, in which he took two stages. He finished ahead of Britons Luke Rowe and Erick Rowsell.
Moser joined Team Lucchini for the 2009 season. However, this is a year which doesn't need to be discussed. As far as successes were concerned, it may as well not have taken place for Moser. No victories for one who had won so much as a junior, although he did bring in two second places. One of these was the mountain classic Ossario del Pasubio.
At first it looked like 2010 would not be much better. A fifth place in the Trofeo Rosalpina was all that stood to Moser's credit until August. His season then really started the beginning of August in the Piedmont Alps, at the difficult Giro delle Valli Cuneesi nelle Alpi del Mare. He did particularly well on the Queen stage with a mountaintop finish at the 2511 meter high Colle Fauniere, finishing fourth. This also gave him the fourth place overall.
Just one week later, Moser brought in his first U23 win. At the GP Citta' di Felino (1.2), on a hilly circuit course, Moser was able to get away on a descent five kilometers before the finish and win by 21 seconds ahead of Michael Matthews and Matteo Trentin.
In September, Moser narrowly missed out by finishing second three times, before he celebrated his second season victory on October 17 at the Lombardian Gran Premio Somma. Here again he attacked shortly before the finish, this time on a climb. He quickly reached and passed the lead group and brought in the win in a solo effort -- a very successful end to his season.
As in the previous year, Moser took it easy in spring 2011. The first noteworthy result came earlier though, the end of April, when he finished fifth in the Palio del Recioto (1.2U). About a month later he had his first season win, actually a double win, for at the Due Giorni Marchigiana in Castelfidardo, Moser won two two races. On Saturday, Moser attacked again in the final kilometers on the rolling course and won by a few seconds. At the second race on Sunday, Moser dominated the events in a seven-rider strong escape group and in the end won the sprint out of this group. Castelfidardo, by the way, is where Francesco Moser had his last amateur win, in 1972.
After Moser lost sprints the beginning of June in two one-day races to Matteo Trentin and Enrico Battaglin, he cleaned up at the GiroBio (2.2), the so-called Baby version of the Giro d'Italia. Directly on the first stage, Moser attacked with several other riders on a descent and gave the other six riders no chance after a long and hard sprint. He had to give up the overall lead on the next stage, though, when a group with eventual race winner Mattia Cattaneo got away.
Moser did not let this stop him. The young rider from Trentino continued to attack and sought the stage wins. Second in Benevento, fourth at the mountaintop finish at Campo Imperatore and second in the time trial in Alba Adriatica. On the eighth stage he was finally able to celebrate another stage win. About 25km before the finish, he attacked out of a 21-rider leading group on the climb up to Rifugio Granezza. Only a few seconds behind were further top riders of the race, including Agostini and Anacona, but they were not able to follow Moser, who quickly built up his lead. He reached the finish line nearly two minutes ahead of the others. In addition to the fifth place overall, Moser's riding style was also rewarded with the points jersey.
The start of July, Moser struck at two further one-day races, both with a hilly profile and again he attacked on the final kilometers to win in solo efforts. He also finished third at the GP Capodarco (1.2) in August, behind Cattaneo and Battaglin. He is now underway as a stagiaire for Liquigas and has signed a pro contract with them for the 2011 season.
It is not easy to put a label on Moreno Moser. On the one hand, he is good at mountaintop finishes, but on the other hand, most of his wins come in solo attacks. The attacks are perfeclty planned and then pulled off with much strength. He can also win sprints out of small groups and is a good time trialist. In other words, Moser has a strong punch, can defend or build up a lead over few kilometers and has developed this year into a winning rider.
After the difficult transition from the juniors to the U23, he now faces a bigger step. He brings the qualifications to the job. If he is allowed to develop and adapt, he could become a great rider. It also remains to be seen whether he can hold up to the expectations aroused by his frequently mentioned family connections.
That he is more than ready for the pros he proved in the weekend before the Worlds with a victory at the Trofeo Gianfranco Bianchin (1.2).
Nominated by ocana, written by ocana, translated by Tick