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GIRO COUNTDOWN - Saeco - Simoni is ready UPDATED
By Podofdonny
Date: 5/5/2003
GIRO COUNTDOWN - Saeco - Simoni is ready UPDATED

Giro Countdown

Simoni and Sabaliauskas breakaway on the Bocchetta climb

Please visit the official Team site here.

Team Saeco ready for the Giro d’Italia

Simoni leads the team of red jerseys

The Saeco team management have today decided the final line-up of the team for the Giro d’Italia that starts in Lecce on Saturday May 10 and ends in Milan on Sunday June 1. The Giro is one of the most important races of the season for the team managed by Claudio Corti.

Gilberto Simoni will naturally be the team captain with the aim of repeating his 2001 win and has two major advantages: an excellent form which is set to improve even more during the Giro and an extremely strong and reliable team to back him up.

Even if Simoni has still to reach his peak, he has already won the last two races he has ridden: The Giro del Trentino stage race and the Giro dell’Appennino one day race. In both his Saeco team mates were also very strong. Lithuanian Marius Sabaliauskas, Leonardo Bertagnolli and the talented young rider Damiano Cunego all showed that they can compete to win races and also work hard for the team. They will naturally be in the Giro, as will strong riders Fabio Sacchi, Paolo Fornaciari, Alessandro Spezialetti and Andrea Tonti.

Contrary to the original programs of the team, Alexandr Shefer and Ivan Quaranta will not be in the team managed for the Giro d’Italia by directeurs sportifs Giuseppe Martinelli e Flavio Miozzo.

The Red Train is coming!

"We’ve got a priority," team manager Claudio Corti said - "and so that forces us to make what are sometimes difficult choices. We’ve got some regrets about not having Quaranta at the Giro but we’re also convinced of our decision. We’ve got to focus our resources to help the rider who can win us the pink jersey. It’s also important to note that Quaranta hasn’t yet reached a satisfactory level of form or results. He needs more time to get used to our way of doing things. However Ivan will have a chance at the Tour de France."

Dario Pieri will be the only sprinter for Saeco. In a team which has been built around captain Gilberto Simoni, only Pieri will have the freedom to ride for individual stage wins.

Simoni and Sabaliauskas dangerous duo for the Giro

Provisional Start List
Note: Provisional only, does not agree with above information.

151 Simoni Gilberto Ita
152 Sacchi Fabio Ita
153 Shefer Alexandre Kaz
154 Sabaliauskas Marius Ltu
155 Bertagnolli Leonardo Ita
156 Fornaciari Paolo Ita
157 Pieri Dario Ita
158 Quaranta Ivan Ita
159 Cunego Damiano Ita 

Photos by Karen Lambrecht

Paris Roubaix - Dario Pieri in the arms of Paolo Fornaciari.

Fabio Sacchi at Amstel Gold

Andrea Tonti at Liege Bastogne Liege

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