Double race commitments stretching smaller teams
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Double race commitments stretching smaller teams

by Ben Atkins at 3:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Teams in the ProTour have the resources necessary to be able to race in two, sometimes three places at once. Calendar clashes in the ProTour and Historic calendars, the top races, are common: Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico occupy the same week in March, the Criterium du Dauphine Libere and Tour de Suisse overlap in June and, from this year, the Tour of California clashes with the Giro d’Italia.  While the Tour of California is not part of the top echelon of races, it is still an important target for many of the top teams.

ProTour teams have the budget, the equipment and, above all, riders to cope with the demands of racing in two places at once; smaller teams do not.

The end of this month sees both the Androni Giocattoli-Serramenti PVC Dvquigiovanni and De Rosa-Stac Plastic teams split their resources for the Giro di Sardegna and the Gran Premios Insubria and Lugano; something that neither of the teams say they can afford to do.

"We are aware that we have set up – for reasons of budget – a team that is not equipped for dual activity,” said Team Manager Gianni Savio. “Not by chance, during the year, our programme does not involve any other simultaneous races.

“We are making an exception this week,” he explained, “because we have a duty to send Alberto Loddo to the race of his country and Francesco Ginanni to the Grand Prix Insubria, because he starts with the number one after having taken victory last year on the lakeside promenade.”

De Rosa-Stac Plastic, a team raised from the ashes of last year’s LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini team, needs to impress in order to receive invitations to bigger races later in the season.

“At the Tour of Sardinia we are starting in order to figure well,” said team manager Giovanni Fidanza. “It is a race that offers courses which are suited to the characteristics of our team.

“We will bring Montaguti, who has already won the Giro della Provincia di Regio Calabria, young Damian Carusso, who won the award for best climber of the Trofeo Laigueglia. [Riccardo] Chiarini and [Christiano] Salerno that have proven to be in great shape, holding very well the climbs of the race. I also expect good results from neo professional Giorgio Brambilla who is proving to be dedicated and determined in sprint finishes”

Fidenza names an eight man squad for Sardegna but has not yet named those to be heading up to the two Swiss races. How De Rosa-Stac Plastic will make up an eight-man team is not clear; the team only has sixteen riders registered with the UCI and one of those is Eddy Ratti, who is currently provisionally suspended after testing positive for EPO in an out of competition test last month.


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