Lampre aims to take it all at the Giro d’Italia
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Monday, May 03, 2010

Lampre aims to take it all at the Giro d’Italia

by Ben Atkins at 1:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

damiano cunegoThe Lampre-Farnese Vini team has been announced for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Amsterdam this weekend. Included in the roster are two former winners of the Corsa Rosa in Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, and one of the most prolific stage winners in recent years in Alessandro Petacchi.

Simoni has won the Giro twice in his long career, in 2001 and 2003, and rejoined his former team in order to have one last crack at a third before he retires. The only year that the rider from Trentino didn’t make the podium between 1999 and 2006 was in 2002, when he was removed from the race after testing positive for cocaine. His claim that it had come from some Peruvian candy bought for him by an aunt was accepted and he escaped suspension. He finished the race in 4th in 2007 and 10th in 2008, but could only manage 23rd last year.

At 38, Simoni will be one of oldest riders, if not the oldest, in the race and may find himself too old to win one last Grand Tour.

Cunego took the race by storm in 2004, winning the overall and four stages at the age of just 22. At the time he was a teammate of Simoni’s and the elder rider took great exception to his usurping by his younger teammate. Their very public spat produced a great many column inches in the Italian press. The two have since settled their differences so there should be no repeat of those scenes.

In truth though, Cunego has rarely threatened the podium in a Grand Tour since, with a fourth place in the Giro and the white young riders jersey in the Tour in 2006 the highlinghts. He has evolved into one of the best one-day riders in the World though, with three editions of the Giro di Lombardia and one of the Amstel Gold to his name.

Petacchi has won a total of 21 stages in the Giro d’Italia, including nine in one race in 2004, as well as 4 in the Tour de France and 19 in the Vuelta a España. In 2003 he won six Giro stages and then followed them up with four at the Tour and five at the Vuelta. Like Simoni, Ale-Jet is beginning to feel his age and “only” managed two in last year’s Giro, but has had a successful spring and so will be one of the men to beat this month.

Lampre-Farnese Vini for the Giro d’Italia:
Matteo Bono, Damiano Cunego, Danilo Hondo, David Loosli, Marco Marzano, Alessandro Petacchi, Daniele Righi, Gilberto Simoni, and Alessandro Spezialetti

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