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Laurence Pithie is a rider to watch at his first Monument

Laurence Pithie is a rider to watch at his first Monument

There is no doubt that Laurence Pithie has left a huge impression in the opening months of his second season in the WorldTour, and as a result, the opportunities are rapidly expanding for the rider from New Zealand who will on Sunday debut at his first Monument, Milan-San Remo, with some big ambitions.

The Groupama-FDJ rider, who secured his first WorldTour win in January with a carefully played hand at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, also stepped up to the podium twice at Paris-Nice earlier this month. The number on the results sheet at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne – just the second cobbled Classic of his career – may have been a far less impressive 43rd but his performance during the race, where he was in the break alongside eventual winner Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) was revelatory.  

Milan-San Remo on Saturday will provide a whole new experience – the 288km length for a start adds another layer of challenge – and fierce competitors such as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) have entered the fray. However, the season so far has provided plenty of evidence that Pithie is not prepared to curb his ambitions or stop striving for that next step up.

“The last 10 kilometres are among the most exciting of the year and I’m hoping to race them in the leading group and come away with a good result,” Pithie said in a team media release. “I know there’s a lot of competition, but at the start my aim is always to win.”

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