Giro d'Italia - Team Barloworld Preview
A preview of the talents of Claudio Corti's men in red for the 2008 Giro.
Mauricio Soler winner of the 2007 Tour climbers jersey leads the squad on its
quest for the podium and stage wins.
Team Barloworld will line-up for the first time in the Corsa Rosa. Barloworld
made it's Grand Tour debut last year in the Tour de France with two stage wins
(Soler & Hunter) and the mountains jersey (Soler). The same Mauricio Soler will
be the team captain in the Corsa Rosa for the Barloworld team of Claudio Corti.
Mauricio Soler in the polka dot climbers jersey at the tour.
Soler started his pro career with Acqua & Sapone in 2006. In his first year as a
pro he immediately won the Circuit de Lorraine. In 2007 he had his best season
with the stage win and the mountains jersey in the Tour de France. He attacked
in almost every mountain stage and really animated the race. He also won the
Vuelta a Burgos and was second in Milano-Torino. In the coming Giro Soler will
hunt for stage wins and the final podium in Milano before heading to the Tour de
Next to Soler they have also the first 2007 Maglia Rosa wearer Enrico Gasparotto
in the team. Gasparotto won with his former team Liquigas the opening team
time-trial and crossed the line first. His team captain Danilo di Luca was not
particularly pleased with that result at the time. Gasparotto is a sprinter who
can climb too, but will have problems getting over the big mountains.
First Maglia Rosa of the 2007 Giro d'Italia Enrico Gasparotto of Liquigas.
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
So far in 2008 he is having his best pro season ever with a stage win in the
Driedaagse van de Panne , a 3rd place overall in the Panne and a 2nd place
overall in the Tirreno-Adriatico.
Another rider to watch for is Austrian Champion
Christian Pfannberger. Pfannberger rode for smaller teams in the past
before he joined Barloworld in 2008. He won the Giro del Capo and showed his
climbing potential in the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
In all three the races he finished in the top 10.
Accompanying these three main riders of the team will be Francesco Belotti,
Felix Rafael Cardenas, Patrick Calcagni, Stephen Cummings, Carlo Scognamiglio
and Geraint Thomas.
Giro d'Italia Barloworld Squad
• Mauricio Soler (Col)
• Francesco Bellotti (Ita)
• Felix Cardenas (Col)
• Christian Pfannberger (Aut)
• Patrick Calcagni (Sui)
• Stephen Cummings (Gbr)
• Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita)
• Geraint Thomas (Gbr)
• Enrico Gasparotto (Ita)
Francesco Bellotti will start in his
fourth Giro D’Italia. His best result was a 36th rank in 2005 when he was riding
his first year for Credit Agricole in which he made his Giro debut. Before
joining Credit Agricole he already rode one year for Barloworld. 2006 was his
best pro year. In 2006 he was amongst others second in the Tour de Langkawi. His
best result in 2008 was a 5th place in the Giro warm-up the Giro del Trentino.
In this race he showed he is ready to support the team captains.
Veteran Felix Rafael Cardenas Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen
The oldest and most experienced rider in the team is Colombian
Felix Rafael Cardenas. He turned pro in 2000
and is a very good climber. In 2001 he won a stage in the Tour de France, in
2003 he won the 16th stage and the mountains ranking in the Vuelta, in 2004 he
once again won the mountains ranking in the Vuelta and in 2006 he was the best
in the GP Industria & Artigianata and the GP Villafranca de Ordizia. In 2007 his
best results was a stage win and the second place overall in the Giro del Capo
and a second place overall in the Volta ao Alentejo. He also rode the Tour de
France. Thus far in 2008 he didn’t showed that much except of a 6th place
overall in the Giro del Capo. In the Giro he will have to help Soler and maybe
Pfannberger in the mountains.
20008 Pino Cerami - Vittoria Patrick Calcagni!
Patrick Calcagni is a Swiss rider who
rode his first years in Italy first for Vini-Caldirola/Tacconi Sport and later
for Liquigas-Bianchi. This is his first year for the Italian/British Barloworld
team. In his time for Vini Caldirola and Liquigas he was an excellent helper for
the team captains. In 2000 he became Swiss TT Champion and in 2001 he won a
stage in the Japan Cup. In 2008 Patrick was the best in the GP Pino Cerami and
finished 6th in the Italian version of Paris-Roubaix the Monti Paschi Eroica. He
is more an allrounder and can help the team in flat, hilly and mountain stages.
Another Italian in the Giro team is 24 year old
Carlo Scognamiglio. He turned pro in
2006 with Team Milram before joining Barloworld in 2008, where he will make his
grand tour debut. His best results thus far amongst others a 6th place in the GP
Denain (2006), a 4th place in the GP Industria & Commercio di Prato (2007), a
8th place in the GP Plouay and a 11th in the Giro del Lazio (2007). Thus far in
2008 his best results were a 13th place in the Monte Paschi Eroica and 7th place
in the GP Pino Cerami. As you can see Scognamiglio is a rider for the middle
mountain stages and is capable of a fast finish if it comes to a sprint.
The team will be completed by the two British riders on the team
Stephen Cummings and
Geraint Thomas. Geraint Thomas made his
professional debut with this team in 2007. He immediately started in the Tour de
France which he completed in 140th. In 2008 his best result was a 24th place in
the Scheldeprijs. Geraint may be most famous as a track cyclist. This year he
became world champion team pursuit together with Ed Clancy, Paul Manning and
Brad Wiggins. The same team was World Champions in 2007 as well.
Last but not least we will introduce Stephen
Cummings. Cummings turned pro in 2005 with Landbouwkrediet. He is
also a famous track rider and a National Champion, World Champion and
Commonwealth Champion team pursuit. In 2008 he opened his road account by
winning the second stage in the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria. He was
also second overall in that race. In 2007 he rode for the famous Discovery
Channel team and completed the Giro in 110th in his debut grand tour.
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