Riccò wants new beginning, and Milano-Sanremo
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Monday, January 04, 2010

Riccò wants new beginning, and Milano-Sanremo

by Ben Atkins at 4:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Milan-Sanremo
 

Riccardo Riccò wants to put his past behind him when he returns from suspension on March 18th this year. The 26-year-old tested positive for Cera, a third generation EPO, in the 2008 Tour de France and was banned for 2 years by the Italian Cycling Federation. The Court for Arbitration in Sport reduced the ban to 20 months on the grounds that he had co-operated with the anti-doping investigators.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Libero he says he’s ready to return.

"I never really stopped cycling,” he said, “I continued to grind out kilometers in preparation since I had the desire to return. Two years is a long time, but I do not feel like I'm starting a new job, rather it is a new beginning and I’ll see where it will take me.

"Inside me I know I can do it, I look just to the road to confirm those feelings."

There are many fans of the sport that don’t wish to see him return but, he says, there are also many that do. "There are some that will always be against me,” he said. “You cannot please everyone but I found many people nearby who gave me support.

"I am not the first to have made a mistake,” he continued, “I will not be the last. But if you know that you can have a second chance it’s important not to let go. I admitted my guilt, now I just want to think about the bike. "

He was asked if he agreed that a rider confessing meant that rider was a fool: "No, he does his duty,” he replied.

“Some people think that I did it to get back more quickly, but it was something I had to in order to move on from my mistakes."

The newspaper also hypothesised that had he been a Spanish rider he would have escaped penalty, Riccò seemed to agree. "It makes me appreciate how justice travels with two weights and two measures,” he agreed, “it’s like that in many fields, not only in sport."

Riccò has signed a contract with Italian ProContinental team Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce and hopes to make his comeback at the Milano-Sanremo on March 20th, should the team receive and invitation.

"We hope so,” he said, “otherwise my schedule will change slightly.”

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