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Marta Cavalli is raring to go after an injury-blighted end to 2022.
The FDJ-Suez rider was one of the star performers in the opening part of last season after she won the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne before taking second overall at the Giro d’Italia Donne. However, the second half of her season was almost completely ripped up as she recovered from concussion following a crash at the Tour de France Femmes.
Cavalli raced just five days after her July crash, but she has now had a full winter of training in her legs and is confident that she’s put the incident behind her.
“It was a bad crash, but I was lucky. I have to say thanks to the team because, with the right time and rest, I was able to recover 100 percent,” Cavalli said in a call Friday.
“With the team, we agreed not to push to come back to race as soon as possible. We took our time I sadly had to skip the world championships but it was the right decision because I was able to recover physically but also mentally.
“When I restart this winter the 2023 preparation, we knew everything was okay, we haven’t got any doubt about my physical condition. Maybe I restarted a little bit low in fitness if I can say like that, but now I can confirm I already recover everything then no problem.”
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Prior to the Tour de France Femmes, Cavalli showed herself to be one of the breakout stars of the season. Her return to racing in 2023 will be one of the most hotly anticipated in the peloton.
When she does get racing again later this month, Cavalli wants to not only show that last year was no fluke, but she wants to take a step forward in her development as a rider.
“Right in this moment, I feel really good. I come back just [Thursday] from a big blocking of training in Spain. And I think I did the best I could to prepare the first part of the season,” Cavalli said. “I have no regrets for this winter because everything went well. I recover 100 percent from the injury of last year then. Now, I will not think any more about that.
“I’m really not stressed. Because I know, with the first races, I will find again a good feeling in the race and about the season. Last year we set a really high target and now we will like, as a minimum, to confirm it, but the idea is always to improve. We have big goals ahead and I’m really looking forward because I’m waiting to race against the other teams to see how my work is going.”
Once again, Cavalli will be sharing out the leadership responsibilities at FDJ-Suez with the likes of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Evita Muzic, and Tour Down Under champion on the team’s 15-rider roster.
The Italian is happy to share out the responsibility of leadership, which she believes will allow her to pick and choose where she really wants to peak.
“We have a lot of races, a huge calendar that is less stressful, but we can share the leadership and we can share also the pressure,” she said.
“We can choose with more focus our goals because we know in the other races, that suit other riders more, they will be ready to win. The key to multiple successes is to have multiple cards and I’m really glad to be in a team like that. With a perfect plan we can be with the best teams in each race and that is good because we also have different physical skills. We can cover all kinds of races.”