Pinotti relishing thoughts of representing Italy in the Olympic Games
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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Pinotti relishing thoughts of representing Italy in the Olympic Games

by Shane Stokes at 8:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Olympics
 
BMC Racing Team rider upbeat about selection

Marco PinottiConfirmed this week as being part of a five-man team for the Olympic road race, Marco Pinotti has said that he will be proud to represent Italy in the Games, and has a specific racing programme to get ready it.

The BMC Racing Team rider is currently competing in the Tour of Austria as the first part of his buildup to the title, and will be one of the tipped riders in today’s 24.1 kilometre time trial.

“My reaction has been of satisfaction,” the Italian told VeloNation this week. “At the same time, I realized how important and meaningful is to represent your country in the greatest sports event in the world. The Olympic Games are something almost everyone has memories of and I feel grateful to many people to be able to be part of it.”

Pinotti won the final time trial in the Giro d’Italia, but the five-time national champion had to be satisfied with the bronze medal this time round. Any concerns that might have affected his selection were dismissed when national selection Paolo Bettini gave a nod this week. The news was announced on Tuesday, with the press actually learning before Pinotti did.

“My guess is that selection has been based on trust and commitment built in the last few months,” he said. “I was of course hoping to be selected in the sense that this goal has been the drive of my last four years of my career. Personally I think I deserved it, but I was ready to accept any decision coming, knowing that the interest of the country comes first.”

Several weeks ago it was rumoured that Pinotti could be passed over for the team, with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that Bettini was leaning towards selecting Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas Cannondale) for the time trial, and Nibali, Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia), Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale), Luca Paolini (Katusha) and Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) for the road race.

It said then that Pinotti would be a reserve, along with Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD).

At that time Pinotti told VeloNation that he wasn’t going to worry unduly about such reports, and that he would continue to work hard and earn his place.

On Tuesday the final lineup was announced; Bettini went for Nibali, Pinotti, Paolini, Trentin and Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF Inox), with Pozzato left off the team due to his investigation over links to Michele Ferrari.

Pinotti knows that he will be relied on to ride for Nibali or Modolo in the road race and is fine with that. “For the road race, my aim is to be there with a level of form that will make me fulfil the expectations and the role the national coach is going to assign me.

“For the time trial, I am aiming at my best performance. The results will depend on the competitors, whose level will be higher than in the worlds. That’s firstly because it is the Olympics, and secondly because the timing of competition is just after the middle of season, where the best riders are coming out from the Tour de France and will be taking advantage of it without being tired like they might be at the end of September.”

He accepts that may mean he has to be realistic about his ambitions. “It will be hard to get results because of that,” he accepted. “The best riders will be in London in their possible best shape.”

Still, he’ll work as hard as he can in the meantime, and has a programme laid out that will stimulate a much longer stage race.

“The Tour of Austria is a race I need to get back in shape and find confirmation that I'm on the right track,” he explained. “I have been performing well so far. I take it day by day without going too deep. Of course the time trial stage will be a good test for me.

“After Austria I’ll go directly to Poland, making two weeks of racing. It is a bit like some riders used to do for the Worlds at the Vuelta, stopping after two weeks, recovering a few days and fine-tune tapering with specific intervals at home. In this way I can have the same benefits without showing a lack of respect to a race, having to drop out.”

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