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Giro d'Italia - T-Mobile Team Preview
By Staff
Date: 5/10/2007
Giro d'Italia - T-Mobile Team Preview

Giro d'Italia - T-Mobile Team Preview
Valerio Piva's magenta team motivated stage hunter squad.

Bart Hazen

T-Mobile will head down to the Giro without a real leader after Sergiy Honchar decided not to start due to a lingering cold. The team has set its goal to hunt for stage victories and thatís a good possibility for two very motivated Italians in the team, namely Lorenzo Bernucci and Marco Pinotti.

T-Mobile Giro d'Italia Squad:
Lorenzo Bernucci
Adam Hansen
Greg Henderson
Axel Merckx
Aaron Olson
Marco Pinotti
Frantisek Rabon
Thomas Ziegler

Honchar will be replaced by either Jacob Piil or Michael Barry. Jacob Piil is riding at the 4 Jours the Dunkerque at the moment so in our opinion the final place in the team will go to Canadian, Michael Barry.

Axel Merckx Final Grand Tours
When we look at the magenta team roster, we see a mix of experienced riders and young talented riders. Axel Merckx is starting in his penultimate Grand Tour of his career. After the Tour he will retire as a professional cyclist. Merckx will use the Giro to hunt for a stage win and to prepare for his final Tour de France.

The Giro starts with a Team Time Trial and contains a Mountain Time Trial and a flat time-trial on the penultimate day of the Giro. For the stages against the chrono the team has Frantisek Rabon and especially former Italian Champion and number three of the Pontedera TT of 2006, Marco Pinotti.

Marco Pinotti in Amstel photo c Bart Hazen
Rabon and Pinotti showed great form in the Tour de Romandie last week. Pinotti finished 3rd in the third stage and finished 14th in the uphill time-trial in Lausanne. Marco wants to do well in stage 14 to Bergamo; the stage is near Marco's home Osio Sotto near Bergamo. So in that stage he will ride more or less to his home. The same counts for riders like Paolo Savoldelli and Alessandro Vanotti as their families will be alongside the roads and we can expect to see the riders from cycling crazy Bergamo region to put on a show for their home crowd in a break  and attempt a home town victory.

Frantisek Rabon did well in the queen stage of the Tour de Romandie, won by Igor Anton. He could follow the bunch for a long time on the final climb but was dropped with less than 10 km to go. He is also a former Time-Trial Champion of the Czech-Republic in the U23 category.

Lorenzo Bernucci. photo c Bart Hazen
Next to Marco Pinotti we see another Italian in the team, namely Lorenzo Bernucci. Lorenzo Bernucci won a stage in the Tour de France 2005 when he rode for Fassa Bortolo. So far itís his only victory in his pro career. Lorenzo is an all rounder and can do very well on different kinds of roads. Despite his lack of victories,  Bernucci is often in the top ten in the results, he is a rider who works well for the team and may get an opportunity for a stage victory.

Part of T-Mobile's "Down Under" contingent, Adam Hansen and Gregory Henderson will make there debut in a Grand Tour.

Kiwi, Gregory Henderson formerly with the Health Net team is a sprinter specialist with all round capabilities like Erik Zabel, he is also a former world, national and Oceania gold medal winner. So far Henderson has done quite well on his debut in the European races. He hasn't won at this point but Greg will be looking for his breakout performance and count him in during the sprinters stages. This spring Hendy finished second twice as in a stage of the Tour of California.

Adam Hansen rides for the first season in a ProTour team as well and will celebrate his 26th birthday on May 11th as he prepares for the Giro. In the past he rode for several small teams in Austria where he achieved excellent results. But Hansen is the most known as a mountainbiker. In 2003 and 2005 he won the prestigious Crocodile Trophy. Adam Hansen is an all rounder with a good time-trial and is capable of climbing well.

Thomas Ziegler photo c Bart Hazen

The final two riders to be introduced are the only German rider in the team Thomas Ziegler and American Aaron Olson. Thomas Ziegler is an all-round rider, while Aaron Olson is a domestique rider and has to help the team in the best possible way. Last year he played the role perfectly riding for Saunier Duval leading to a successful team effort for Simoni and Piepoli.

Updates to the Giro DíItalia will be available on the website of Marco Pinotti, who will continue to update his journals with his experiences at the Grand Tour.
Team website: www.T-Mobile

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