Giro d'Italia: ISD's Luca Scinto fears for his team's future
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Friday, May 07, 2010

Giro d'Italia: ISD's Luca Scinto fears for his team's future

by Jered Gruber at 2:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

A bitter and depressed ISD-Neri manager, Luca Scinto, reflected a day ahead of the Giro about his team's non-selection. He started slowly and with a wide scope: "I'm really disappointed not to be participating in the Giro d'Italia." After the opening statement, he got to a long list of grievances.

"I'm sorry, because I am sure we would have put on a show. I know that the Giro is a privilege and not a right, but with the lack of riders and sponsors in Italy today, to rule out an Italian team like ours, is to cut us at the legs. Now I understand the difficulties that other teams have faced in the past, and I acknowledge that it will be hard for us to go forward."

Scinto gives a nod to his star rider, Giovanni Visconti, and is saddened by the lost opportunity and the repercussions it will likely have on his team in the future: "Visconti is a rider for the future, a rider who improves every year, and a rider who believed in a small project, which is fully devoted to his cause. But since we cannot even guarantee him the major races in Italy, will he remain with us? Remain in Italy? The ProTour formations are entitled to everything, while the professional continental teams are subject to many of the same charges, including the biological passport, but are not entitled to anything, not even in their own country. I think that the federations should speak on this point and look to protect their teams."

Scinto's comments can indeed ring sour, but as he stated above, only in his position as a director of an Italian team left out of his country's biggest race, can he finally understand the implications of the immense lost opportunity.

It becomes more apparent just how vital the Giro was to the team's livelihood. The team was built around the prospect of the Giro and doing a good ride there. Jose Rujano was brought in as a big hope for the big mountains, whilst a number of experienced, hardmen were signed to add depth and knowledge to the team.

"I'm sorry for the sacrifices and investments that the sponsors and the team manager wanted to do just for the Giro. We got Rujano for this appointment, and although he has not shown much since 2005, the Giro would have proved his talent, especially in the final week. We hired professionals like Caccia and Longo to strengthen the team for the three week races. True, in recent months, we have not dominated, but we showed we could content at a high level. We are never anonymous, and we have already won several races. What remains to be done?"

Scinto knows that he's not happy in the position where he is, but realizes that the solution is not so simple. In his eyes, a viable solution would be for teams that are merely sending teams to fill their start line reservation to donate their position to a team that desperately needs the race, a team like ISD-Neri.

"Looking at the start, I realize that some foreign teams will not win. I wonder if there could be a way to come to an agreement with these teams, for which the Giro is just another race, and instead leave room for Italian teams, for which it's the race of their life. I'll be blunt, as always, and I'm sorry for those who read my interview and take it badly. Last year, I thanked Angelo Zomegnan for the opportunity, this year, I must submit these reflections because I love the race."

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