Movistar to back Cobo in Giro d'Italia, but admits uncertainty about how he will fare
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Movistar to back Cobo in Giro d'Italia, but admits uncertainty about how he will fare

by VeloNation Press at 8:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Intxausti will also fill a leadership role in race

Juan Jose CoboWinner in 2011 at the Vuelta a España, Juan Jose Cobo will enjoy protected status at the Giro d’Italia, but his Movistar team has conceded that it is not sure how he will fare in the race.

“The team's goal is continuing the streak from the last two years, when we got more than one stage victory,” said general manager Eusebio Unzué on Monday, explaining the strategy and targets. “Taking one this year would be really good and notching up two can only be considered as superb. I think we're bringing a pretty solid squad, well balanced, with all riders coming in good form and having good chances.

“For the overall, I rely on [Beñat] Intxausti and Cobo fighting with the top guns and maybe making it into the top ten. It might be just about time for Beñat - I think he's ready, he's got the experience and maturity he needs. Last year, he already proved he's able to get there. Cobo's performance is always an unknown, but it's important to know that he's in good condition, so you can expect he might be able to give his best level, like in previous times.”

Cobo has become known for large fluctuations in form, with quiet periods interspersed with times of higher achievement. He dominated the 2011 Vuelta but is yet to approach the same form since.

Now backed by Movistar but previously sponsored by Reynolds, Banesto and Caisse d’Epargne, Unzué’s riders have long been successful in the race. In 1992 and 1993 Miguel Indurain triumphed overall en route to rare Giro/Tour doubles, while his riders have clocked up ten stages.

Last year Andrey Amador and Fran Ventoso won stages in the event, while one year earlier Ventoso and Vasil Kirienka did likewise.

This time round, the lineup will comprise Intxausti, Cobo, Ventoso, Giovanni Visconti, José Herrada, Pablo Lastras, Vladimir Karpets, Eros Capecchi and the British ITT champion Alex Dowsett.

"We come to the start with ten victories and that makes you feel calm to do your work, but above all, really motivated to keep increasing that figure,” said Unzué.

“The race route is not really different from last year’s. The first half of the race is crucial on a mental side - you must not lose time on those mid-mountain stages. The second one has plenty of big climbs: Galibier, Lavaredo, Stelvio and the mountain TT might be crucial for the overall.”

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