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89th Giro d'Italia - Lampre/Fondital Team Preview
By Staff
Date: 5/5/2006
89th Giro d'Italia - Lampre/Fondital Team Preview

89th Giro d'Italia Lampre/Fondital Team Preview
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 Cunego
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
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
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
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
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

Sylvester Szmyd
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.

Paolo Tiralongo
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.

Tadej Valjavec
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 preparations
Photo c. Bart Hazen

Francisco Vila
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.

The 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
Fornaciari 15,12
Szmyd 15,34
Bruseghin 15,56
Valjavec 16,18
Tiralongo 16,40
Vila 17,02
Cunego 17,46

La 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 Liegi.
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 6,2 km).

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