Cunego resigned to three year wait
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cunego resigned to three year wait

by Conal Andrews at 7:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships

Second in Varese twelve months ago, Damiano Cunego has accepted that it will be another three years before he can entertain ambitions of becoming world road race champion. “The next two years, the circuit if the Championships will be more suited to fast men than to climbers like me,” he told Tuttosport. “I will be forced to wait until at least Valkenbourg 2012.”

Cunego showed excellent form in the recent Vuelta a España, dropping the GC contenders to win the mountain stage to Alto de Aitana and then exploiting his place in a long-distance break to triumph at the top of La Pandera.

However he was only eighth in Mendrisio on Sunday, finishing 51 seconds behind Australian victor Cadel Evans.

Cunego was originally regarded as a Grand Tour specialist after he won the 2004 Giro d’Italia, but has not performed at the same level since then in three week races. He has increasingly targeted one day events and someone who pinpoints specific stages in Grand Tours.

The Italian won the Amstel Gold race in 2008 and so will have some knowledge of the Valkenburg course, which will be held over many of the same roads.

He also took the Tour of Lombardy in 2004, 2007 and 2008 and will shortly aim for his fourth victory in the Italian Classic. It takes place on October 17th and will give those who targeted the world championship a final chance to go head to head before the end of the season.

Cadel Evans is expected to take part in the race, one of his first competitive outings in his new rainbow jersey. Cunego will want to prove a point there but, even if he wins once again, he’ll have to suspend those dreams of landing the one title he really wants.


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