89th Giro d'Italia
A team hand picked to support Damiano Cunego's quest for his second Giro
d'Italia. The Team, the riders... photos on La vigilia del Giro
By Bart Hazen
Team Presentation photo courtesy of Lampre/Fondital
Damiano is the absolute teamleader of Lampre Fondital. The 24 year old rider of
Verona won the Giro D’Italia in 2004 ahead of Honchar and Simoni. Last year he
had a disappointing Giro and finished 18th after hard working for his
teammate Simoni (2nd). Simoni is now switched to Saunier Duval. So
the 2 top Italian riders are now rivals.
Damiano at the Lampre/Fondital presentation. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
This year Cunego started
strong at the season winning a stage and the final GC in the Settimana
Internazionale, winning the Giro D’Oro, GP Industria and a stage & final GC of
the Giro del Trentino. He also came to Belgium, riding in Liege-Bastogne-Liege
where he finished 3rd after Valverde and Bettini in a sprint. This
year Damiano is hunting for a 2nd Giro overall win but the last week
will be very tough for him and the others.
Marzio Bruseghin is one of the most important riders in the team together
with Fornaciari for the Team Time Trial. Bruseghin is an excellent crono rider
and can climb very well. Last year he finished in the top 10 of the Giro after
working hard for Alessandro Petacchi as well. Now he has to work for Damiano and
can go for own success in the Time Trials. Last year at Fassa Bortolo he was a
kind of leader in the stage races which resulted in some nice top 10 ranks. This
year he didn’t ride any results but the form is good.
Paolo Fornaciari is the oldest rider and the most experienced rider
of the team. Paolo is a real gregario who is always working for other riders. In
the early season his form was well and finished in the top 20 of the 4 days of
Duinkerken. The whole Lampre team rode well there. In the coming Giro, Paolo has
to work in the flat stages, the early part of the mountainstages and is a good
rider for the TTT.
Evgeni Petrov should be a rider for the short stage races. He has a good time
trial an can climb very well. It’s the ideal combination to help Cunego in the
TTT as well in the mountains. This year the former World Champion time trial U23
finished 11th in Paris-Nice and 14th in the Vuelta a Pais
Vasco. Petrov had a good year in 2002 when he rode for the Trade Team 3 of Mapei
winning the Tour of Slovenia, The Russian TT championships and the Duo Normand.
Gorazd photo c. Bart Hazen
Gorazd Stangelj is one of the certainties in the Lampre Fondital
Team. The Slovenian rider can climb very well. Last year he rode the Giro and
the Tour both to an end. In the 2nd part of the season he was 13th
in the Tour of Poland, 7th in the Giro di Lombardia and 20th
during the Worlds in Madrid. This year he was one of the riders who raced most
of the time together with Cunego to create a “team”. In the Settimana
Internazionale he rode in front in one stage together with Marco Pinotti. But in
the end the work of Stangelj was perfect because “Il Piccolo Principe” won the
stage and later on the final ranking. His last victory his own was in 2001 the
Giro di Toscana when he rode for Liquigas.
Evgeni Petrov Photo c. Bart Hazen
For Sylvester Szmyd the goal for the coming Giro D’Italia is the same
as the one of Stangelj and the others helping Cunego. Sylvester is a good
climber and can ride a solid TT as well. This year he finished 10th
in the final ranking of Romandie. Further he was 6th in the Giro del
Trentino and 9th in the Settimana Internazionale. The rest of the
season he was riding together with Cunego and had to help him and with success.
Tiralongo started his career in 2000 with Fassa Bortolo. For this
year he rode 3 years before switching to Panaria where he rode 3 seasons as
well. Since 2006 he is riding for Lampre. Paolo is a good rider for the early
part of the mountainstages and the middle mountains. He has to launch Cunego in
a sprint with a select group and has to work for the team during this GT. In
2005 he finished 32nd in the final ranking of the Giro as a helper
for Emanuele Sella.
What do we need to say about Tadej? Last year he finished 15th
in the final ranking of the Giro. He rode for Phonak. Further he was 6th
in the Tour of Germany, 9th in the Tour de Suisse and 10th
in in the Tour of Romandie. As you can see Tadej is a rider for the stage races.
He can climb very well and has a solid time trial. Tadej will be one of the
final helpers for Damiano in the mountains together with Szmyd and Vila.
Patxi today pre race
Photo c. Bart Hazen http://cyclingfx.nl
Francisco “Patxi” Vila is one of the final helpers of Damiano Cunego in the
mountains. It’s his 6th year as a pro and this year he won his first
race in his pro career. He won the 3rd stage in Paris-Nice and was 2nd
in the final ranking behind Floyd Landis. He was also 5th in the
Vuelta a Communidad Valenciana and 9th in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. As
you can see he is a good climber and is not bad against the clock. He is very
useful for the team in the mountains and the TTT. It’s up to Cunego to convert
all the work of the teammate into cash.
Day before the Giro
Tadej Valjavec, sat in relax
in the team autobus, listening to a charming U2 record while the sun went down.
This is a perfect image of the calm eve for Lampre-Fondital.
The Italian's team cyclists, that tomorrow will start Giro d'Italia with the
prologue of Seraing, spent the day in a serene way: in the morning they trained
for three hours, cheered up by Paolo Fornaciari's good mood.
Then, in the afternoon, Damiano Cunego took part at the official press
conference programmed in Liege by the Giro's organization.
In the evening the team
received the visit of Lampre's owners, the Galbusera family: a welcome meeting
that give even more morale to the Lampre-Fondital's cyclists.
These are the scheduled start
of Lampre-Fondital's riders for the prologue (Seraing-Seraing of 6,2 kms).
Petrov ore 14,50
vigilia del Giro
Tadej Valjavec, seduto
rilassato sul pullman della squadra, che ascolta un coinvolgente album degli U2
mentre il sole tramonta. Questa è un'immagine che bene sintetizza la vigilia
all'insegna della tranquillità trascorsa in casa Lampre-Fondital.
I corridori del team lombardo, chiamati domani a prendere il via al Giro
d'Italia con il prologo di Seraing, hanno vissuto in maniera serena la giornata
odierna: in mattinata hanno svolto un allenamento di circa tre ore, allietati
dal buonumore di Paolo Fornaciari.
Nel pomeriggio la squadra ha
riposato, con Damiano Cunego che ha risposto alle domande della stampa in
occasione della conferenza ufficiale programmata dall'organizzazione del Giro a
I giornalisti hanno potuto apprezzare un Damiano sereno, sorridente e ben
disposto al dialogo.
La squadra ha poi ricevuto in
serata la visita della famiglia Galbusera, titolare dell'azienda Lampre: un
incontro gradito, che ha certamente contribuito a dare ancora più morale ai già
motivati corridori della Lampre-Fondital.
Qesti gli orari delle
partenze dei corridori della Lampre-Fondital per il prologo di domani (Seraing-Seraing