Ginanni back on target, Sanremo next
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ginanni back on target, Sanremo next

by Samuel Morrison at 7:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo

Francesco Ginanni (Androni) is back on target for 2010 and has next month's Milano-Sanremo in his sights. The 24-year-old Italian repeated his 2009 Trofeo Laigueglia win yesterday, indicating his form has returned.

"It did not go bad last year, I won three races," explained Ginanni. "Not all the years, unfortunately, are the same. Some are better and some you find yourself in difficulties."

Gianni rocketed to the top of the Italian newspapers when he won three one-day classics in the fall of 2008: Giro del Veneto, Tre Valli Varesine and GP Carnaghese. The wins earned him a spot as a reserve on the Italian national team for the World Championships in Varese, Italy.

Last year, though, he had problems and found concentrating on training difficult. In addition, he only discovered the source of his allergies recently.

Now, it is time to impress the boss, Gianni Savio.

"Francesco is of the new generation," said Savio. "He likes to have the newest gadgets, to live well. But he has to find a good balance."

Ginanni responded with the Laigueglia win, a sprint ahead of Italian Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini). It came after a long chase, where team Androni put its faith in Ginanni by working to reel in the escape group.

"Now, I hope that I will be able to continue to do well, and consistently, throughout the season."

Insubria, Lugano, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico are next on his list, all appetisers leading to the main course: Milano-Sanremo which takes place on March 20.

The nearly 300-kilometre one-day Classic starts in Milano and ends along the same Ligurian coast where Laigueglia finished. There the riders face a series of climbs that threaten the sprinters' chances of victory: I Tre Capi, the Cipressa and the Poggio.

"To make it [a win] happen, though, I have to try to eliminate riders like Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish on the final climb."

Sanremo, like yesterday's Laigueglia, will be dedicated to Franco Ballerini, who died in a rally car crash earlier this month. Ginanni not only held a reserve post at the 2008 Worlds, but he also grew up 500 metres from Ballerini, in Casalguidi.

"My relationship with Franco was like two brothers," continued Ginanni. "We always had a coffee together. And you could speak to him about everything, not just cycling. My thoughts are with his family: Matteo, Gianmarco and Sabrina."


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