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Preview Tour de France: Fassa Bortolo
By Staff
Date: 7/3/2003
Preview Tour de France: Fassa Bortolo
One of the most strongest teams in the peloton has made the final selection of 9 riders, who will take part in the Tour de France 2003.

The team has a lot of ambition: stage-wins for Alessandro Petacchi and a good final ranking for Ivan Basso and Aitor Gonzŕlez. In the mountains, Marzio Bruseghin and Dario Cioni, both rode well in the Giro d’Italia, will be a good help for the two leaders. And don’t forget Sven Montgomery, who rode an excellent Tour of Switzerland (an 8th place in the overall ranking).

Petacchi has been training the past two weeks: "I am starting to do well. I am optimistic, I think I'll do better than in 2001 because I have grown and I have more experience.

"The Tour is a stressful race - because of the distances between many small villages, the curves, so many people...and you must be concentrated from the beginning of the race because it is difficult to control something: the beginning is everything!"

Other riders in the selection are Volodimir Gustov, Nicola Loda and Marco Velo. The talented Tadej Valjavec isn’t in the selection, although he rode strong in the Tour of Switzerland. The team will be directed by Giancarlo Ferretti, Alberto Volpi and Roberto Damiani.

Sergei Ivanov, who broke his left collarbone in a fall at the Tour de Suisse, is convalescing after a successful surgery last week.

The riders

Ivan Basso
26/11/1977, Gallarate (Italy)
5 victories
1999                Riso Scotti – Vinavil
2000                Amica Chips – Tacconi Sport
2001-2003       Fassa Bortolo

Last year, Ivan Basso won the white jersey in the Tour de France.

Marzio Bruseghin
15/06/1974, Conegliano (Italy)
1997-1998       Brescialat
1999-2002       Banesto (and
2003                Fassa Bortolo

Marzio Bruseghin rode an excellent Giro. In the last crono he became second after Gontchar.

Dario Cioni
02/12/1974, Reading (Great-Britan)
3 victories
2000-2002       Mapei
2003                Fassa Bortolo

He rode the Giro d’Italia as helper from Dario Frigo and Aitor Gonzŕlez.

Aitor Gonzŕlez
27/02/1975, Zumarraga (Spain)
12 victories
1998                Avianca
1999-2002       Kelme
2003                Fassa Bortolo

Aitor Gonzŕlez, the 2002 Vuelta winner, won a crono in the Giro d’Italia, but many expected more from him in the mountains.

Volodimir Gustov
15/02/1977, Kiev (Ukraďne)
2000-2003            Fassa Bortolo

Gustov is a young rider who can do a lot of work for Petacchi and also for Basso and Gonzŕlez.

Nicola Loda
27/07/1971, Brescia (Italy)
7 victories
1993-1997       MG
1998-1999       Ballan
2000-2003       Fassa Bortolo

He rode the Tour of Luxembourg (where he won a stage) and the Volta a Catalunya as preparation for the Tour. Maybe he can go away with a small group.

Sven Montgomery
10/05/1976, Detmold (Germany)
1 victory
1998-1999 Post Swiss Team
2000-2001 La Française des Jeux
2002-2003 Fassa Bortolo

He had a good Tour of Switzerland (8th place overall). This year his dream can come true: winning on Alpe d’Huez.

Alessandro Petacchi
03/01/1974, La Spezia (Italy)
39 victories
1996-1998       Scrigno
1999                Navigare Gaerne
2000-2003       Fassa Bortolo

This year he has 12 victories, of which 6 were in the Giro d’Italia. Can he do the same in the Tour?

Marco Velo
09/03/1974, Brescia (Italy)
10 victories
1996-1997       Brescialat
1998-2001       Mercatone Uno
2002-2003       Fassa Bortolo

Marco Velo rode also the Giro d’Italia, he has a good time trial and can work hard in the flat stages.

Thanks to Fassa Bortolo

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