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