Savio lays out Pellizotti’s main targets for 2012 and 2013
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Savio lays out Pellizotti’s main targets for 2012 and 2013

by Shane Stokes at 6:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Former top Italian climber readies for start with Androni team

Franco PellizottiAndroni Giocattoli – Venezuela manager Gianni Savio has laid out the main goals of the Italian climber Franco Pellizotti, who he said will pinpoint a major event of organisers RCS Sport this year and next spring.

Savio announced the signing yesterday, plus an important renewal with the team’s main sponsor Androni.

“Pellizotti’s signing and the extension of Androni’s backing represent an investment for next year,” he told VeloNation. “The aim is to be able to ride the 2013 Giro with Franco Pellizotti as a protagonist.”

The Italian will miss out on this year’s Grand Tour, undergoing a more gradual buildup rather than beginning right away with such a tough race. “The race programme will start with Circuit Lorraine in France in May. Then Gran Premio Gippingen in Switzerland and Route du Sud again in France,” Savio said.

“Then we’ll continue with the whole Italian calendar, Getxo Circuit, Vuelta Burgos in Spain and some more transfers abroad. The main target of this season for Pellizotti will be the Giro di Lombardia.”

The Italian was crowned King of the Mountains in the 2009 Tour de France and was third in that year’s Giro, but later had those results taken away from him after the UCI ruled he had doped.

The case was a famous one as it was one of the most hotly-contested disciplinary actions under the UCI’s biological passport. The Court of Arbitration for Sport finally heard the case last March and sided with the UCI, stripping away his Tour and Giro results.

He was also banned until May 2012; he’s consequently eligible to begin racing now. The Circuit Lorraine runs from May 16th to 20th.

Pellizotti has said that he believes Savio’s Pro Continental squad is the best place for him at present.

“I’ve received some offers and I’ve chosen the team where I’m certain I’ll find the ideal conditions to be relaunched,” he said. “I just can’t wait to go back competing.”

Savio previously signed up other riders coming back from suspensions, including the Italian who was eventually crowned winner of last year’s Giro after Alberto Contador was disqualified. “We strongly believe in Franco Pellizotti and are certain he’ll be able to follow the same route as Michele Scarponi, a rider who had gone through the same experience and who we re-launched at high level,” he said yesterday.


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