Di Luca inks Acqua & Sapone contract today, targeting Giro win
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Di Luca inks Acqua & Sapone contract today, targeting Giro win

by VeloNation Press at 5:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian wants a victory as soon as possible after missing out with Katusha

Danilo Di LucaAfter one season racing with the Katusha team, Danilo Di Luca will today complete his move to the Acqua & Sapone team for 2012 when he signs his new contract.

The Italian is hoping for a better season that the one he just had; his return from a doping suspension was a quiet one, with his year with Katusha lacking any wins. He appeared to be going well early on when he clocked seventh and eight in season-opening races in Majorca, but the closest he got to a victory was a trio of fourth places, namely on stages of Tirreno-Adriatico, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de Suisse.

Because of this, he’s determined to try to get on the top step of a podium as soon as possible. “I've been training for three weeks. It is important to start strong and immediately achieve a result,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s not only a desire for redemption, I want only to win again.”

Although he’s now 35 years of age, several years past an athlete’s physiological peak, he’s convinced that he can once again be successful. “I don’t feel old. I only need a win. I can return to my top level and nobody can stop me. I’m not afraid of anyone and I know I can fight for success against the new generation, like Nibali. Other than Contador who has succeeded in winning in all the races, the Giro will remain a matter amongst the Italians.”

Di Luca’s biggest success came in 2007 when he took two stages and the overall classification in the Giro d’Italia, beating a young Andy Schleck. He also finished second behind Denis Menchov in 2009, but that result was stripped from his palmares when he tested positive for CERA.

Despite the latter incident, his closest link is with that race, and his big ambition is to ride strongly there in 2012. “Obviously the Giro will be my goal this season,” he said. “I've won and I want to re-register my name on the list. The course seems to suit me.”

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