Cunego better than the pope?
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Cunego better than the pope?

by Bjorn Haake at 2:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

After a somewhat quiet season, Damiano Cunego declared in a gathering with his fans in Peschiera del Garda that he expects more from himself in 2010. Cunego met 200 of his supporters on Sunday afternoon, in a town where the pop was also visiting at the same time.

"For us he's better than the pope," joked the fans at the gathering, which included representatives from the 14 fan clubs that follow Cunego. The farthest fan club is in Kortrijk, Belgium.

Cunego, who had just gotten over a flu, was tired after the 2009 racing year. "It was a very long and intense season," Cunego said according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Cunego's major wins were the Settimana Coppi e Bartali in March and two stages at the Tour of Spain. "At the Vuelta, I demonstrated that I can win [stages] in the Grand Tours as well as races in the spring. Only in the World Championships and Lombardia things didn't go as I had hoped." Cunego had to settle for eighth in the Worlds this year and 14th in Lombardia. In 2008 he finished second in the Worlds (with teammate Ballan taking glory) and won Lombardia for the third time.

Despite his mediocre year by his own standards, Cunego ended as highest ranked Italian in the UCI table (12th, with 235 points). Cunego was tenth last year.

The Italian was quite optimistic about 2010. "I like the Lampre that is being built right now and after some vacation we will start thinking about the year to come."

Cunego will leave on Tuesday to go to Zanzibar.


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