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91st Giro d'Italia - Lampre Team Preview
By Bart Hazen
Date: 5/9/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Lampre Team Preview

Giro d'Italia 2008 - Lampre Team Preview
Giuseppe Saronni's Blue & Fuscia crew gives the nod to strongman Marzio Bruseghin to pursue his dream.

The Blue and Fuscia Squad
Team Lampre will start without the Giro winner of 2004, double winner of the Giro di Lombardia and recent winner of the Amstel Gold Race Damiano Cunego. Cunego will skip his home tour aiming for a run at the Tour de France victory. Team captain for the overall ranking will be Marzio Bruseghin. For the sprints the team will count on Mirco Lorenzetto. The team also has the oldest rider in the peloton in their ranks with good old Fabio Baldato. Baldato turns 40 in June and will participate in his final Giro D’Italia as he ends his career at the end of the season.

The team captain of Lampre is Marzio Bruseghin. Bruseghin turned professional in 1997 with Brescialat, in 1999 he switched to Banesto, in 2003 to Fassa Bortolo and signed with Lampre-Fondital in 2006. Marzio has 3 victories thus far the TTT in the Tour of Portugal (2001), the Italian TT Championships (2006) and the 13th stage in the Giro D Italia last year. Bruseghin won the climb time-trial to Santuario di Oropa. He also finished 8th in the final ranking.

Marzio Bruseghin was arguably the most successful boy in blue and fucsia on the Giro roads of 2007.
(albeit not the team's top overall finisher). Photo c. Fabio

Bruseghin has 11 grand tours in his career last year he finished 41rst at the Tour de France after placing 8th on the Giro G.C.., a sign of strength. The rider seems to be getting stronger with age besting his 9th place in the Giro in 2005; and a common fixture in the top ten for stages. The nickname of Bruseghin is the locomotive of Vittorio because he can ride damn hard in the lead of the bunch as a gregario/helper. The 33 year old rider has the talent and grinta of a survivor; what remains to be seen is if Marzio can grasp this opportunity as team leader and aim for the podium or higher.

The sprinter of the team is 26 year old Mirco Lorenzetto. Lorenzetto turned pro with De Nardi in 2004. In 2005 he joined Domina Vacanze before joining Milram in 2006. Since 2008 he has ridden for Lampre-Fondital. Lorenzetto seemed to have his breakthrough in 2008 with two victories already; a stage in the Volta Comunidad Valenciana and the Presedential Tour of Turkey. He also had lots of top placings in 2008 with a 5th place in the Trofeo Laigueglia and also a 5th place in Milano-SanRemo.

Giro d'Italia Squad

• Fabio Baldato
• Paolo Bossoni
• Marzio Bruseghin
• Francesco Gavazzi
• David Loosli
• Mirco Lorenzetto
• Mauro Santambrogio
• Simon Spilak
• Sylwester Szmyd

Another rider who is capable of a strong performance for the General Classification is Polish rider Sylwester Szmyd. Szmyd turned pro in 2001 with Tacconi Sport. He joined Lampre in 2005. Previous to joining the blue & fuscia crew he  rode for Mercatone Uno (2003) and Saeco (2004). Szmyd has participated several times in the Giro D’Italia and the Vuelta D’Espana but his best result overall was 19th in the Giro (2006) and 14th in the Vuelta D’Espana (2006). Szmyd can climb very well and will be a valuable helper in the mountains. Thus far in 2008 his best results were 9th in the Settimana Coppi & Bartali, 8th in the Giro del Trentino and 11th in the Tour de Romandie.

The Lampre Young Guns
The team also has three young guns in their team with Italians Francesco Gavazzi and Mauro Santambrogio and young and talented Slovenian Simon Spilak.

Francesco Gavazzi turned pro in 2007 with Lampre. In his last year as a U23 rider he won a stage in the baby giro, he became Italian Champion, won the final ranking in the Giro di Toscana and won the Giro Del Canavese. In his first year as a pro his best results were 3rd in the Japan Cup and 13th in the GP Ouest France in Plouay. In 2008 the best results thus far of the 23 year old were a 14th position in the Giro della Provincia di Grosseto. He also competed and finished in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Mauro Santambrogio turned pro in 2004. The 23 year old has won one race thus far in his career. In 2005 he won the Giro del Lago Maggiore. His best year as a pro was 2005 when he rode for LPR. He was amongst others 9th in Laigueglia, 1st in Maggiore, 3rd in the Giro del Mendrisiotto, 8th in the Coppa Placci and 5th in the Memorial Cimurri. His best result in 2008 was 3rd in the Giro della Provincia di Grosseto.

Simon Spilak warms up with Alessandro Ballan at 3 Days de Panne.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

But the young gun who impressed the most thus far is young Slovenian Simon Spilak. The 21 year old turned pro in 2005 with the Slovenian KRKA-Adria Mobil team. He rode 3 years for this team before switching to Lampre in 2008. Last year he finished as 4th in the Tour de L’Avenir and also showed his potential at the World Championships U23 in Stuttgart.

In his first year in a ProTour team he immediately showed his great potential. He finished as 12th in Paris-Nice and was 8th in the Ventoux stage. Next to that he also impressed in the Belgium classics with a 17th rank in the E3 Prijs, 5th overall in de Driedaagse van de Panne and on top of that he was 9th in the Tour of Flanders. He also competed in the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in preparation for the Giro. We will have to see what Spilak can do in his first Grand Tour as he has done lots of races for a 21 year old already.

Lampre's Fabio Baldato after finishing his final Paris - Roubaix. The veteran finished in tenth place. Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

The Lampre Journeymen
The team will be completed by the experienced riders David Loosli, Paolo Bossoni and grandpa of cycling Fabio Baldato.

David Loosli didn’t get a contract renewal in the beginning of the season but just before the Settimana Coppi & Bartali in the end of March his contract was renewed. Loosli turned pro in 2004 with Saeco and immediately won a stage in the Course de la Paix (Peace Race). Loosli is a good helper for the team on all terrain both on flat, hilly and mountain stages. The 28 year old also has competed in all the three Grand Tours and his experience will be of great help to the young guns.

Paolo Bossoni is 31 years old, and turned pro in 1999 with Cantina Tollo. Before joining Lampre-Fondital in 2007; he rode for Tacconi Sport, Vini Caldirola, Lampre-Caffita, Fassa Bortolo and Tenax. Bossoni has, despite, his domestique status most of the time, a good collection of palmares - a short list: a stage win the Vuelta D’Espana (2000), a stage in the Brixia Tour (2001), the GP Industria Artigianato e Commercio Carnaghese (2002), The Coppa Sabatini (2003) and the Trofeo Città di Castelfidardo (2006). Bossoni has a quite good sprint and can be very valuable for Lorenzetto.

Last but not least we will introduce 39 year old Fabio Baldato. Baldato will start in his final Giro D’Italia as he is going to retire as a professional cyclist at the end of the season. Baldato turned pro in 1991 with Del Tongo and rode for teams as GB-MG, MG-Technogym, Riso Scotti, Ballan-Alessio, Alessio, Fassa Bortolo and Tenax before joining Lampre in 2007. Baldato really has a excellent palmares with amongst others four stage wins in the Giro D’Italia, two in the Tour de France and two in the Vuelta D’Espana. He also won stages in lots of other races like Paris-Nice, Tour of Austria, Tour of Poland, Tour de Romandie etc.

The multi talented rider also won the Henninger Turm and finished as second in both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix once. The past two seasons he has won one race per season and both times it was a stage in the Tour of Austria. Fabio also won the TTT in the Tour of Poland in 2007 with his team. So far in 2008 he is doing quite well for a 39 year old finishing 10th in Paris-Roubaix. Baldato is for sure the most experienced rider of the team and will play an important role to lead the young guns through the bunch and to help Lorenzetto in the sprints.

Going into the Giro the Team Gained a New Sponsor
An important realtionship began in the very few days before the start of Giro d'Italia: Team Lampre found support by NGC Medical Spa. Blue-fucsia team obtained the trust by NGC that, since Giro d'Italia, will see its logo on Team Lampre official race jersey. The relationship cpuld go on in nest years too.

NGC Medical is a company leader in hospital sector in management in service of cardiology and heart surgery wards, with branches related to conception, production and marketing of surgical devices, to import and distribution of elettromedical and telemedicine equipments, to design and production of computer applications for hospital wards. NGC is also protagonist in air transport of organs and in emergency thanks to NGC Avio and Avionord.

"This agreement satisfies both parts - Giuseppe Saronni, Team Lampre's manager, said - The team finds a sponsor that shows enthusiasm and passion for cycling: this is a good thig for us; NGC Medical will have the chance to live the Giro d'Italia outstanding experience and, later in the season, support us in other races such Tour de France, Vuelta and other Classics".

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