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Simoni Fights On...
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/16/2003
Simoni Fights On...

Simoni suffers at Tour de France but does not give up

"I hope I can be back in the action in the Pyrenees"

It has been a tough first week at the Tour de France for Gilberto Simoni. After a good prologue time trial in Paris, the Saeco team captain and his team mates had a bad day in the team time trial in Saint Dizier which ruined Simoniís hopes of doing well in the overall classification.

Simoni then had to face the Alpine stages in a precarious physical condition which did not allow him to take on the best riders in the Tour and he even considered retiring from the race.

Fortunately Gilberto reacted like the champion he is and decided to stay in the Tour in the hope of recovering day after day. He hopes to return to his best and ride well in the Pyrenees.

"My dream is over but I have to honour the Tour which is still a major objective in the future, and respect my tifosi who have supported me," Simoni said.

"So far things have gone wrong and I havenít been able to achieve what I hoped. Itís a pity because I know I could have competed with Armstrong on the big climbs."

"Itís not true that I didnít respect the other riders in the Tour as Armstrong suggested. When I said I wanted to win the Tour I simply talked about my hopes and ambitions for the race. I was sincere and really thought I could have been a contender in the Tour."

Fortunately the rest of the Saeco team is also fighting back. Danilo Di Luca has got over a flu bug and a urinary infection. He returning to his best and showed it with a good but unlucky break on the stage to Gap.

© Copyright Saeco

Lance Armstrong, title holder of Tour de France, shakes hands with Gilberto Simoni

© Copyright Saeco

Saeco in the team time trial

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