Pinotti and Greipel lead HTC-Columbia's Giro d'Italia charge
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pinotti and Greipel lead HTC-Columbia's Giro d'Italia charge

by VeloNation Press at 9:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

The American HTC-Columbia team will be looking to Marco Pinotti for the general classification and sprinter André Greipel for the 2010 Giro d'Italia.  The race kicks off next Saturday May 8th in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Pinotti won the opening prologue in the Tour of Romandie earlier this week, which will put the Italian in with a chance of putting on the race's first Maglia Rosa in his home Grand Tour.

"My feelings are good, particularly at this point in the Tour of Romandie, and in the first week whilst we'll be looking for stage wins in the sprints with André, I'll be looking out for some good performances in the time trials. My form's a bit better than this time last year, and getting that early win in Romandie has made me more confident, too.

Pinotti had back luck during the race's time trial on Friday when a sprinkle of rain washed away his chances to recapture the race lead.

"The second part of the Giro is definitely more for climbers, but with age my endurance is steadily improving and I'll have to see how far I can go," he explained.  "The first big mountain top finish at the Terminillo [stage eight] will be the real test of whether I can stay high up on the overall classification without killing myself, or whether I have to switch to plan 'B'."

Greipel has been racking up wins for the team since the Tour Down Under, and has previously had success in the Italian race.  He was a stage winner in the Giro d'Italia back in 2008, and the German will head into the 2010 edition looking to add to his tally.

"First I want a stage victory, nothing more than that, and afterwards we'll see about the points jersey," Greipel said.  "I don't rule it out, but I know it's a very hard third week with a lot of mountains and I will take it on the day by day. I've got a great team there for the leadouts, we'll be having a big effect on the final kilometres of all the flat stages."

Compared with when he started the Giro two years ago, Greipel says "I'm a very different rider. I've got a lot more self-confidence."

Last year Greipel won four stages in the Vuelta a Espana, which was enough for the HTC-Columbia rider to also secure the points jersey.  He's looking forward to racing in a country he holds in high regard:  "I've been to Italy on holiday, I like the country and its people,  and like all Germans, I love Italian food. Personally, I'm looking forward to a nice tomato mozzarella caprese."

HTC-Columbia for the 2010 Giro d'Italia:
Michael Albasini (Swi); Matthew Goss (Aus); André Greipel (Ger);  Adam Hansen (Aus);  Craig Lewis (USA);  Marco Pinotti (Ita); Frantisek Rabon (Cze); Vicente Reynes (Spa);  Marcel Sieberg (Ger)


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