Ballan, Nocentini to target Giro d’Italia 2010
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ballan, Nocentini to target Giro d’Italia 2010

by Conal Andrews at 7:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Two Italians who competed in world-famous jerseys this season have said that they want to target strong rides in next year’s Giro d’Italia.

2008 world champion Alessandro Ballan wants to head to the race with his BMC Racing team next season which, amazingly, would be his first-ever Giro.

“I am a bit ashamed,” he told at the recent race presentation. “In my seven years as a professional I have never run 'La Corsa Rosa." Year 2010 will be good. I can not wait to ride my first Giro, even after a tough season that’s just ended.”

He had hoped to ride it this year while in the rainbow jersey but missed most of the first half of the season due to illness.

Meanwhile Tour de France star Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r La Mondiale) also has his sights set on his home race. Like Ballan, he wants to shine on the stage to Montalcino, which takes in some of the white gravel road sections that feature in the famous Eroica.

“It's a race I know very well, close to home,” he told Tuttobici. “It would be nice to give a victory to all the fans who follow me. We hope that Pozzato will not go to the Giro, because he could be a very dangerous opponent in this stage.”

Nocentini took the yellow jersey in this year’s Tour after being part of a long-distance breakaway on stage seven to Andorra Arcalis. He held the jersey for eight days, with Alberto Contador (Astana) finally ending his time on top with a blazing attack on Verbier.

Going to the Giro gives him the chance to chase the Maglia Rosa of race leader, but knows it would be tough. “It would be nice to wear it, but it seems that it’s not an easy undertaking,” he said.


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