Garzelli to continue past fortieth birthday with Giro as big motivation
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Garzelli to continue past fortieth birthday with Giro as big motivation

by VeloNation Press at 8:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Italian signs contract with Vini Fantani squad

Stefano GarzelliHis career was thought to be at an end when his Acqua & Sapone team left the sport after not being invited to the Giro d’Italia, but the former Tour of Italy winner Stefano Garzelli will continue for at least one more year in cycling. Now 39 years of age, the Italian has inked a one year deal with the Vini Fantani team, which was previously known as Farnese Vini – Selle Italia.

It will require a wildcard entry to the race but has performed well there in the past, winning stage fifteen with Matteo Rabottini and triumphing again four days later with Andrea Guardini.

Garzelli knows that the end of his career is approaching but said that he is determined to keep pushing for big results in the top events.

“My dream is once again Giro d'Italia. My career is tied to that race,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But we must not forget that we have to be invited to the Giro.”

Before then, he hopes to contest some of the top one day races, although again the team will need a wildcard entry as it is not WorldTour level.

“It would be cool to try Liege, but it will not be easy to get an invitation,” he accepted. “Perhaps Amstel.”

Garzelli won the Giro in 2000, was second in 2003 and sixth the following year. He’s continued to ride strongly as he has aged, placing sixth overall in 2009 and netting both a stage plus the mountains classification, then returning to nab another stage in 2010. He was once again King of the Mountains in 2011, but was unable to add to his palmares last year when the team was not selected.

Set to turn 40 in July, he is almost double the age of his youngest competitors. He insists his motivation remains high, and seems to draw from missing last year’s race as part of his fuel to keep fighting. “I still have the determination and willingness to sacrifice. At the same time, I want to prove myself after a difficult season because of many things,” he said. “I think I can do it well.”

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