Pellizotti looking for Paris Nice Success, Liquigas Bianchi Team News
LIQUIGAS-BIANCHI IN THE PARIS-NICE
Dario Cioni's season began in the Paris-Nice. The “professor” started on Sunday in Issy-les-Moulineaux after long high ground training in Toluca, Mexico and is very much in contention after loosing just 11 seconds in the prologue. While Cioni will look for the right race rhythm, Franco Pellizotti, who also finished 11 seconds off the pace will resolutely aim at his first success in 2005:
«I am in the right condition, I collected enough placings: now I miss a victory» observes the rider of Friuli. «The Paris-Nice could represent my occasion to win, even if I expect a lot of well-trained opponents, starting from the CSC team. Let's remember that this race will mark the start of the "Pro Tour Era": many riders will look forward to succeeding… I'm thinking about the stage finishing on Mont Faron, but I can't deny I'm also interested in the final ranking».
Besides Pellizotti and Cioni, Liquigas-Bianchi will line up two sprinters: Brazilian Luciano Pagliarini, who has already been very close to victory many times this year, and Marco Zanotti. Both these riders will be looking for success today. Calcagni, Carlström, Loda and Wegelius will complete the team.
Team manager Roberto Damiani will be supported by his “vice” Mario Scirea
CIPOLLINI AND DI LUCA IN THE GIRO DELLA PROVINCIA DI LUCCA AND IN THE TIRRENO-ADRIATICO
Mario Cipollini and Danilo Di Luca will captain Liquigas-Bianchi in the seventh Giro della Provincia di Lucca (scheduled on Monday, 7 March) and in the 40th Tirreno-Adriatico (from Wednesday 9 to Tuesday, 15 March). The two green-Celeste team captains will ride these two races in sight of the future competitions.
The Lion King, who hasn’t partaken in any race after the Tour Méditerranéen, is looking forward to growling again: «I come back to competitions after a 21-day stop. Despite flu and bad weather, I trained hard. The next two races will lead me up to my first goal in this season: the Milan-San Remo».
Danilo Di Luca is cautious too: «Long hard training in Toluca (Mexico) is giving good results and my form is all right. However, I’ve been far from races for too much time and I can’t be a key rider all at once. I hope to get the top form in the period starting with the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco up to the Amstel Gold Race, the Flèche Wallonne and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I may be satisfied with a stage victory in the “Tirreno”, maybe in Torricella Sicura. This stage is very appealing to me as I won it twice in 2002 and 2003».
The Liquigas-Bianchi team will partake in these Italian races with two different teams. Here are the riders for the Giro della Provincia di Lucca: Cipollini, Di Luca, Backstedt, Gasparotto, Miholjevic, Miorin, Mugerli, Noé and Righetto. They will be led by team manager Dario Mariuzzo. The team for the race of the two seas: Cipollini, Di Luca, Andriotto, Backstedt, Gerosa, Milesi, Miorin and Mugerli. Team manager: Roberto Amadio and Stefano Zanatta.
Franco Pellizotti courtesy Liquigas Bianchi .