BREAKING NEWS: GIRO – before the race…
Tomorrow the 88th Giro will start. It is raining and cold in Calabria and the team SAUNIER DUVAL PRODIR is getting ready. The official teams’ presentation took place last night in Reggio Calabria and today the riders relax and train a little bit.
Some of them are pedalling on the balcony and some other are making new haircut with the the “philishave” of the masseur!. The atmosphere is really good in between the riders and the group is having great fun together! The formation for the Giro is interesting: 6 Spaniards, 2 Italians and 1 Swiss – experienced riders and young riders taking part for the first time in the Giro. Everything seems to be optimal to do a good race and why not to surprise the public once again.
Juan Manuel Garate
“I feel very good in this team and it gives me a lot of motivation. I am a 28 years old and experienced rider, I feel it’s now my chance to do something big!”
“Everybody has his chance in the SAUNIER DUVAL PRODIR team and this is extremely positive. I want to win a stage for the team and I will help Garate in the mountains.”
Scarponi – Ready for the Giro!
Michele Scarponi, the leader of the Liberty Seguros-Würth on the Giro, will start tomorrow looking for a podium place in Milan. For the first time in his career, the Italian has concentrated exclusively preparing for this race and is hoping that this pays dividends.
This year he comes to the Giro with only 10 days of competition (Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and Criterium Internacional).
Liberty Seguros website reports on how the Italian rider see’s his preparation this year as opposed to previous seasons.
How are you before the start?
On my two previous participations I never came in good conditions, because I ran very much in the first part of the year trying to have good results. Till now I had come to the start with almost 30 days of competition and not precisely of preparation, but searching results.
What consequences had it?
The first 10 days always I was very strong, as the best, but on third week I was accusing the effort and my physical condition was diminishing very rapidly, while the rivals were going up. This year, with more experience and with a great team around me, I believe that we have avoided to repeat the failure of other years. Because of it I am more serene and sure of being able to fight up to Milan.
What do you think about this parcours?
It is one of the hardest Giros of last years. The first week does not have big difficulties, but it will be very nervous and not easy at all. The second and third weeks are very hard, with longer stages and two ITT very interesting.
Do you know the key stages?
Yes, I know almost all the climbs, except Finestre and Zoldo Alto, though I have found out about their characteristics.
Will the Giro change with the ProTour teams?
It is something new, for the first time there will be many foreigners in the pack and that will make it very different and more spectacular.
Not being a big favourite, will that be an advantage?
I go out in a more comfortable position, because I will not be so controlled and my team will not have to assume the responsibility either. We will ride together with the favourite teams, but we will leave the initiative to others.
Which is the Queen stage of this edition?
Maybe the penultimate one, but by then already the name of the winner will be known or almost. fourteenth one and seventeenth also will be decisive, together with the second time trial.
How has your Time trialing been going ?
I am not an exceptional timetrialist, but I am good. In the Worlds of Lisbon I was the first Italian under-23 and ended seventh on ITT. It is sure that I will not win them, but opposite to the leaders of this Giro (Cunego, Simoni, Garzelli, …) I am similar or better than they.
Are you loking forward to the mountains?
The stages with an uphill finish give me confidence. What worries me more of this Giro is the first week, because I'm a lot of time without competing and it will be difficult to take the pace.
Which are your aims on the start line?
It is not easy to speak about aims, but I have prepared myself very well and wait to be together with the favorites in all the important stages. If I am with them, only I need little luck to win a stage or to fight for the 'maglia rosa'. The most important thing is to be ahead.
What do you prefers, to win a stage or to rise to the podium of Milan?
I prefer the podium, but in a race any thing can happen.
Di Luca – courtesy cyclingfx.nl
Liquigas Bianchi for the Giro
General manager Amadio promises: «We will be a key player, especially on the mountains»
Garzelli, Di Luca, Cioni, Noé, Andriotto, Calcagni, Miholjevic, Milesi, and Wegelius: these are the nine Liquigas-Bianchi riders partaking in the 88th Giro d’Italia. There won't be Mario Cipollini, as it is already known, but the Lion King will be present at the Reggio Calabria’s prologue to greet his supporters.
The green-Celeste team anyway will be a key player of the race: «We will start the Giro with a strong team, especially for the toughest stages» observes Liquigas-Bianchi general manager, Roberto Amadio.
«Riders like Garzelli, Cioni, Noé, Wegelius, and Miholjevic will play an important role on the steepest climbs. Our performance in the Tour of Romandie is a clear signal that we can also be competitive in the time trials. Moreover, we can count on Di Luca, the Pro Tour leader: several finishes are suitable to him the first ten stages».
In the Liquigas-Bianchi general manager’s opinion, not only Cunego, Simoni, Basso and Garzelli are favourites to win the general ranking: «To undervalue riders like Savoldelli, Scarponi, and Gontchar would be an error».
Stefano Zanatta and Mario Scirea will sit in the team car
Liberty Dismiss Ribeiro
Twenty-four hours after the health control not passed by Nuno Ribeiro, Liberty Seguros-Würth held an extraordinary meeting with the team management and , in agreement with the principal sponsors, has decided to dissolve to all effects the contract that was joining both parts until December, 2006. The decision, which has been accepted by the rider, has been communicated to him in a meeting in Barcelona on this evening.
Nuno Ribeiro stops being a member of the team from today. The rider will have the support of the team to the wait of the controls antidoping that have carried out in the last hours should clear any doubt on the happened.
The team management is sorry about the consequences that this fact could have had for the image of our sport, and especially, for the group of members of this new competition UCI-ProTour, repeating his firm commitment in the protection of the health of the sportsmen and in defense of the competition-s cleanliness.