Danilo Di Luca motivated for the Giro del Trentino
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Danilo Di Luca motivated for the Giro del Trentino

by Ben Atkins at 5:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Acqua & Sapone has a lot to prove after Giro non-invitation; Utensilnord-Named motivated after Pais Vasco

danilo di luca

The Acqua & Sapone and Utensilnord-Named teams are both sending their strongest squads to next week’s Giro del Trentino, which starts with a team time trial in Riva del Garda, on Tuesday, April 17th. While the mountainous race is a traditional preparation event for May’s Giro d’Italia, neither team has been invited to the race and so will be highly motivated to prove a point in the four-day event.

Acqua & Sapone’s non-invitation to the Giro was the most surprising, since the team contains 2000 race winner and 2011 mountains jersey winner Stefano Garzelli, and 2007 winner Danilo Di Luca. The team’s sponsor threatened to walk away over its exclusion, and Garzelli talked of retirement, and so will be particularly keen to show itself.

“This year there will be a team time trial for the first time,” said Di Luca, “ and we at Acqua & Sapone have done pretty well in the discipline this year.”

The mountainous course is certainly to the Killer’s liking, with the three remaining stages all finishing at altitude. The stage three finish, in particular, will be the first time that the race has climbed the fearsome Punta Veleno, whose gradients reach 20% in places.

“I’m told that the climb to Punta Veleno is tough and spectacular,” Di Luca said. “While the final stage finishing on the Pordoi is a perfect ending because of all the emotions that the climb evokes, even if it isn’t the hardest climb.

“It will certainly be a beautiful Giro, and I will arrive there very motivated,” he concluded. “It could be decided by the weather; the forecast for next week is not very good.”

Unfortunately, Garzelli will be sitting the race out, still suffering with the aftereffects of ‘flu, but Di Luca will be joined in the team by Colombian climber Carlos Betancur.

Utensilnord-Named’s non-invitation to the Giro d’Italia was less of a surprise, it was still a disappointment for the team that has ridden the race in the past under previous sponsors. After riding the recent Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the blue and white team is looking forward to a return to its home roads.

“The guys are really motivated,” said Utensilnord-Named directeur sportif Marco Tabai. “They want to show themselves. We are taking the men who have demonstrated excellent condition and as able to tackle the climbs with the best.”

Both teams will compete in Sunday’s Giro dell’Appennino, before travelling north to start Trentino on Tuesday.

Acqua & Sapone team for the Giro del Trentino
Carlos Betancur, Massimo Codol, Danilo Di Luca, Alessandro Donati, Andrea Masciarelli, Vladimir Miholjevic, Francesco Reda and Fabio Taborre

Utensilnord-Named team for the Giro del Trentino
Paolo Bailetti, Oleg Berdos, Stiven Fanelli, Edoardo Girairdi, Sergio Laganà, Davide Mucelli, Federico Rocchetti and Patxi Vila


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