By Karen Lambrecht
The absolute leader of the team will be Gilberto Simoni. The rider from the
Trentino area will have the support of three strong ‘rouleurs’: Fabio Sacchi,
Paolo Fornaciari and Stefano Zanini. The two first have already done the Giro.
Leonardo Bertagnolli and Gerrit Glomser will help Simoni in the mountains.
That’s also the job for Danilo Di Luca and Salvatore Comesso, but they can also
go into breaks to try to win a stage.
The last rider who received a place in the red team is German rider Jörg
Ludewig. The Saeco staff prefered him to Quaranta because also Ludewig can help
Simoni to do well.
"I’m sorry for Quaranta but this time it was purely a technical decision,"
Team manager Claudio Corti said. "After the results of the Giro d’Italia and
considering the ride Gilberto Simoni could do in the Tour, we have decided that
it is the right decision. It is not that Quaranta has been overlooked. We still
feel he is one of the strongest sprinters in the world and we will make sure he
gets other chances to show what he can do."
The Red Train on the approach to the Zoncolan. Courtesy Saeco.
08/01/1978, Trento (Ita)
Bertagnolli was racing the Giro d’Italia as a lieutenant for Simoni and ended
25th in the general ranking.
28/03/1975, Torre del Greco (Ita)
Salvatore Comesso ended third in the Italian championships, after winning the
last two years. In the past he won 2 stages in the Tour de France (in 1999 and
2000). For sure he will be seen in a breakaway and in the sprint with a small
group, he isn’t slow.
Danilo Di Luca
02/01/1976, Spoltore (Ita)
1999-2001 Cantina Tollo
He didn’t ride the Giro, to prepare to the Tour. For the general ranking, he
can’t (yet) compete with Armstrong, but if he can go away with a small group, he
isn’t prospectless. Di Luca will be also an excellent helper for his leader
02/02/1971, Viareggio (Ita)
1992-1995 Mercatone Uno
The always smiling Italian is also present in the Tour, after he rode the
Giro d’Italia. In the flat stages, Fornaciari can do a lot of work in favour of
his leader. Once in the mountains he will, still smiling, take place in
01/04/1975, Salsburg (Aut)
Post Swiss Team
Winner of two stages and the final ranking in the Bank Austria Tour. The team
expect a lot from him after his excellent performance in Austria.
09/09/1975, Halle (Ger)
1997-1998 Bayern Worringen
After a fifth place in the National Championships, Ludewig should be ready
for the Tour de France.
22/05/1974, Milano (Ita)
Fabio rode the Giro d’Italia this year. He went to the Alpes (Alpe d’Huez,
Galibier…) with Simoni to prepare the Tour.
25/08/1971, Trento (Ita)
Gilberto Simoni won the Giro d’Italia, including 3 stage-victories. In the
Tour, he will try to perform well. He went to the Alpe d’Huez and other cols in
the mountains to review the course. He can count on his team, where 3 riders did
the Giro together with him.
23/01/1969, Varese (Ita)
1991-1993 Italbonifica Navigare
He’s one of the most experienced men in the team. He can work very hard in
the flat stages, but in the mountains, he will join Fornaciari in the grupetto.
Sport directors: Giuseppe Martinelli, Guido Bontempi.