Giro d’Italia: Scarponi leads Androni Giocattoli, Freire may miss out for Rabobank
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Scarponi leads Androni Giocattoli, Freire may miss out for Rabobank

by Conal Andrews at 11:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Double stage winner in last year’s Giro d’Italia, Michele Scarponi, will lead the Androni Giocattoli team in this year’s race, which begins in Amsterdam this Saturday.

The 30 year old won stages six and eighteen in last year’s event, several months after taking the Tirreno-Adriatico. He won a stage and finished second overall in the latter this year, then one month ago went on to clock up victories in the prologue and the general classification of the Settimana Lombarda race.

He will be joined by Leonardo Bertagnolli, Alessandro Bertolini, Alberto Loddo, Carlos Ochoa, Jackson Rodriguez, Rubens Bertogliati, Cameron Wurf and the Colombian climber Jose Serpa on the Giro team. It’s a solid lineup, although the squad is missing Francesco Ginanni. He won the Trofeo Laigueglia and was seventh in Milan San Remo.

Meanwhile the Rabobank team lineup is still not finalised, as Oscar Freire has been suffering badly from allergies. In January he told Biciciclismo that he planned to make his debut in the Italian Grand Tour, seeking to follow up on other successes in the country such as his Milan-San Remo victories.

“The difference [in his programme] with previous years is the Giro, which I have never raced,” he said at the time. “As it starts in Holland, the team is interested in me riding it.”

However allergies that flared up in Amstel Gold have caused problems for the triple world champion, and the fact that these have continued since then means that there is a question mark over his preparation.

"I have never experienced that before," he said, according to De Telegraaf. "I could hardly breathe." He was examined by a medical specialist yesterday and a decision is expected soon. If Freire doesn’t ride, Tom Stamsnijder would take his place.

One who is certainly out is Koos Moerenhout, who has been suffering from a respiratory infection and had to admit defeat. He will be replaced by Steven Kruijswijk in Rabobank’s lineup for the three week Tour.

The team had a superb race twelve months ago, with Denis Menchov winning two stages plus the overall classification. The Russian rider finished a solid third in the Giro de Romandie two days ago, but will miss the race this time round as he wants a different preparation for the Tour.


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