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Di Luca Interview – Spotlight on Liquigas Bianchi
By Podofdonny
Date: 10/4/2005
Di Luca Interview – Spotlight on Liquigas Bianchi

Di Luca Interview – Spotlight on Liquigas Bianchi

Liquigas-Bianchi leader's statements: «I will race both the Paris-Tours and the Giro di Lombardia». 2006 purposes and expectations. Some suggestions for the next Pro Tour

By taking fourth on Sunday in Zurich, Danilo Di Luca is the virtual winner of the Pro Tour's first edition by now: «It has been a terrible race, the toughest one of my life. The weather conditions were frightful but it had been worth it: at last the Pro Tour is mine!».

Do you have a special dedication?

«I dedicate this win to the people that stayed at my side last year, in the most difficult period of my life. Above all my wife Valentina».

What has been determining for this success?

«The regularity during the season has had a great importance: I've won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne; I've raced as a protagonist the Giro d'Italia taking fourth and today, in October, I'm still with the best riders. Behind me in the Pro Tour ranking there are great champions that, on the contrary, preferred to aim at specific goals limited to a particular period. Or athletes, like Boonen, very regular but not present in the great tours' overall rankings».

Which picture would you like to frame?

«An enormous poster of the whole Giro d'Italia».

You had been the best rider in the first Pro Tour. What is your answer to the people that would modify the rules of this challenge? Do you have any change to suggest?

«The structure is all right. I would only increase points to stage winners: 3 points for a stage win in a great tour or only one for the win at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is really few...»

Talking about score, you don't need points at stake in the Paris-Tours and Giro di Lombardia by now: do you miss one of these races?

«No, I won't. I can't do without the "Lombardia": I've already won this charming race in 2001. Moreover the Pro Tour's victory is an advantage for me: I can race the "Classic of the falling leaves" concentrating on the day's victory. Of course the Paris-Tours doesn't suit me as the Lombardia does but I believe the Pro Tour leader can't do without racing such a prestigious race in front of such a passionate public like the French one».

Who will be the next Pro Tour winner?

«It's difficult to say: surely the winner will be a regular rider in the whole season. One day races' protagonists are favoured».

And what about Di Luca?

«I've fought with all my strength for conquering this edition of the Pro Tour, the first one. Now I have other purposes: however if I have at hand on my way also the second white jersey, I will try not to let the opportunity slip, of course. But it isn't one of my main goals: in 2006 I will aim at the Giro d'Italia and World Championships».

So you have new goals. Also your training will change?

«Not at all: I will do the same as this year, starting from the long high ground training in the month of January. I only won't force in April's races».

Photo courtesy Bianchi .


The Liquigas-Bianchi team will race the Coppa Sabatini, the Giro dell'Emilia and the G.P. Beghelli

Italian champion, Enrico Gasparotto, will captain the Liquigas-Bianchi team in national racesscheduled in the next days. There will be also Croatian Vladimir Miholjevic, after his good performance in last Sunday's Züri Metzgete, and "senior" Andrea Noè. Here're the green-Celeste squads for Coppa Sabatini, Giro dell'Emilia and G.P. Beghelli:

53rd Coppa Sabatini (06.10): Enrico Gasparotto, Kjell Carlström, Vladimir Miholjevic, Devis Miorin, Matej Mugerli, Andrea Noè, Gianluca Sironi and Charles Wegelius.

Team managers: Roberto Damiani and Dario Mariuzzo.

80th Giro dell'Emilia (08.10): Enrico Gasparotto, Eros Capecchi, Vladimir Miholjevic, Devis Miorin, Matej Mugerli, Andrea Noè, Gianluca Sironi and Charles Wegelius.

Team managers: Roberto Damiani and Dario Mariuzzo.

9th G.P. Beghelli (09.10): Enrico Gasparotto, Vladimir Miholjevic, Devis Miorin, Matej Mugerli, Andrea Noè, Marco Righetto, Gianluca Sironi and Charles Wegelius.

Team managers: Roberto Damiani and Dario Mariuzzo.
Photo courtesy Bianchi .


A stage win and the overall ranking at the Circuit Franco-Belge: "Now I aim at the Paris-Tours"

He almost didn't expect it anymore: "I have been in a good shape for a long time; I've also collected some good placings, even too many... A victory still missed. Yesterday I've taken a big load off".

Zanotti has conquered the stage win and the overall ranking in the Circuit Franco-Belge making his season score pass from 0 to 2 in one day. Since 2000 the sprinter of Brescia has kept a constant rhythm: no year without a win.

"It's not only a matter of numbers" observes the 31-year-old Liquigas-Bianchi's rider. "After a thousand placings, I wanted to give a success to my team as a present".

Now Zanotti is full of confidence thinking about next Sunday: "I like very much the Paris-Tours. My legs go very well and my spirit is good: I aim at a great result..."

Photo courtesy Bianchi .

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