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Giro d'Italia - Tinkoff Credit Systems Team Preview
By Staff
Date: 5/11/2007
Giro d'Italia - Tinkoff Credit Systems Team Preview

Giro d'Italia - Tinkoff Credit Systems Team Preview
Oleg Tinkov rolls out a team sure to animate the Giro and gain some more credits for his banking and cycling interests.

Bart Hazen

Tinkoff Credit Systems is one of the teams who were invited to this Giro with a wild-card. The team of Russian millionaire Oleg Tinkov will come with a good team despite arriving without Tyler Hamilton and Jörg Jaksche. They also replaced Ruggero Marzoli. Tinkoff comes with a very strong team the team of experienced and young talented Russian riders. The GC rider of the team will be Evgeni Petrov. Petrov is coming from the Lampre team and has a good TT and can do very well on the climbs. He is one of the riders who can ride top 20 in Milano.

The experienced riders in the team are Salvatore Commesso, Elio Aggiano and Daniele Contrini, all Italians. Commesso formerly rode for Lampre/Fondital; while Elio Aggiano and Daniele Contrini are previously rode for Team LPR. The team has had a more than successful season this year showing well and picking up wins starting earlier this year at the Tour of Langkawi. Daniele Contrini won a stage in the Tour de Georgia and rode in the leaders jersey for a while and the others rode an aggressive race and animated the race in breaks rewarding their sponsor owner with some solid publicity. 

The goals for the team coming to the Giro is to be in break-aways searching for stage wins and to pilot the Russian young guns through the Giro peloton.

Spaniard Ricardo Serrano is a good all-rounder. Serrano rode for Kaiku last season and won a stage and the final ranking in the Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja and was 2nd in the final ranking of the Volta Communidad Valenciana. This year he was 2nd in the final ranking of the Tour of Mediterranean, 3rd in the Tour du Haut Var and 3rd in a stage in the Volta ao Alentejo. As you can see by the races he can climb very well and has a good sprint. Serrano may be able with Petrov to land near the top of the general classification; but more likely both will be a candidates for stage wins.

Nikolai Trussov (l) and Mikhail Ignatiev (r) at the Los Angeles track World Cup.
Photo c.

The final riders to be introduced are the three Russians who will anchor the TTT in Caprera on Saturday. The three Russians are; Mikhail Ignatiev, Nikolai Trussov, Pavel Brutt and Ivan Rovny.

Mikhail Ignatiev is the revelation of this spring season so far. He combines Road cycling with track cycling and is in his first year as a professional already very successful. He won the 3rd stage in the Tour of Mediterranean and won after a solo of more than 10 km the Trofeo Laigueglia. He was also 2nd in the GP d’Ouverture la Marseillaisse and 3rd in the points race at the World Track Championships. With his strong early season he became the leader in the UCI European Tour for a month. Ignatiev is a strong finisher and will be a man for the breaks.

Nikolai Trussov is the sprinter of the team. This year his best result was a 2nd place in the 10th stage of the Tour de Langkawi. He is not a top sprinter but might be able to finish several times in the top 10.

Stage 9 Tour of Langkawi  Pavel Brutt  Photo c. Bruno Bade

Pavel Brutt is a really good rider and next to Ignatiev one of the best young riders in Russia. He is like Serrano more an all-round rider with a good TT and good climbing skills and has won a few stage-races in the U23 ranks in the past. In 2007 in his first pro year he won already the 9th stage in the Tour of Langkawi with a few climbs in the stage and won also the tough GP Chiasso in Switzerland. He followed up with 2nd in the first part of the first stage in the Coppi & Bartali and after the TTT in the afternoon he was the new leader in that race. As you can see Brutt is arriving for the Giro in good form and one to watch in the next three weeks.

Last but not least we will introduce the youngest rider in the peloton, Ivan Rovny. Rovny is 19 years of age and will become 20 on 30 September. So far he doesn't  have any remarkable results on the road but is like the most of the Russians in this team schooled on the track. The first target of the young guns in the Tinkoff squad will be to gain the experience by racing their first grand tour to build the future of the Tinkoff team which so far this year looks very bright.

Although the wisdom of awarding the Wild Card to Tinkoff was debated at first; we see it as a deserved reward and expect to see the team to give a good accounting of themselves in the 90th Giro d'Italia. Be ready to see the yellow and black jerseys of the team mixing it up at the front and in the breaks animating the race and perhaps picking up a stage. More on Tinkoff Credit Systems Team.

Tinkoff Credit Systems:
Salvatore Commesso (Ita)
Ivan Rovny (Rus)
Elio Aggiano (Ita)
Evgeni Petrov (Rus)
Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus)
Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez (Spa)
Nikolai Trussov (Rus)
Daniele Contrini (Ita)
Pavel Brutt (Rus)

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