Daniele Righi and Matteo Bono ready to support Scarponi in his Tour de France bid
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Daniele Righi and Matteo Bono ready to support Scarponi in his Tour de France bid

by Ben Atkins at 5:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
Lampre-ISD domestiques unsure of the wisdom of their captain’s decision to miss the Giro d’Italia, but will back him all the way

matteo bonoDespite taking his first ever Grand Tour podium in this year’s Giro d’Italia, Lampre-ISD’s captain Michele Scarponi has decided that he wants to aim at victory in the Tour de France next year; a race that he hasn’t ridden since 2004. Despite a few misgivings, partly over the fact that the Tour is to feature almost 100km of individual time trials, Scarponi’s teammates Daniele Righi and Matteo Bono (pictured) are ready to back up their leader to the hilt.

"Winning the Tour de France would be something that would lift Scarponi to an enormous level,” said Righi, who has ridden with the blue-fuchsia team since 2003. “Michele has all the qualities to do well in France and to win important stages, because he has character and determination to burn and is contenders, he will have to improve in the time trial: he can defend okay, but with time trial stages as long as those in the Tour, he will have to be able to do something more against the clock.

While the Tour de France is unquestionably the biggest race in the World, for Italian riders the Giro is something closer to their hearts.

“In terms of motivation, Giro and Tour offer different things,” Righi explained. “The Corsa Rosa gives you affection from the public and the charm of an inimitable tradition, it’s the opportunity to realise the dream of every Italian rider, which is to win the Giro. The Grande Boucle, at the same time, with its toughness and its being composed of 21 stages that become 21 World championships, it can make you an epic rider.

“Scarponi will know for sure that all the riders will be there to support him,” he added, “will be very motivated, and will do their best to help.”

Bono, while equally supportive, is less sure that the Tour is the right choice for his captain, with the 28-year-old – who has spent his entire career in the iconic Lampre colours – feeling that the climbers’ Giro is better for Scarponi than the time triallists’ Tour.

"There are a lot of variables to consider so as to make the right choice,” Bono said. “I'm sure Scarponi, with the advice of the technical staff, will make the right decision.

“The path of Michele at the Giro d’Italia has been seen by all the fans; his rise in the Corsa Rosa has been remarkable, in 2011 he scored his first podium and next year will be able to aim at the big target with conviction. At his side will have a team for all situations, whether his choice falls on the Giro or the Tour.

“With regard to the French race, it seems to me that it is influenced by the most unexpected situations,” he added. “Just look at the 2011 edition with all the crashes that distorted the standings. This leads me to think that in a year in which Scrarponi can reach his full maturity, on a course that as is suited to him as the Giro, it's risky to prefer to participate in the Tour, rather than the Corsa Rosa"


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