Clash between Moser and Zomegnan over Giro d’Italia selection
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Clash between Moser and Zomegnan over Giro d’Italia selection

by Conal Andrews at 7:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Former Giro winner claims Ricco should have been invited

Former Giro d’Italia winner and top professional Francesco Moser and Giro d’Italia organiser Angelo Zomegnan have clashed in the media over the selection policy for the race, with Moser claiming that an overall lack of home riders has cost some success for the host nation.

Yesterday’s twelfth stage was, staggeringly, the first of this year’s race which went to an Italian rider. National champion Filippo Pozzato was first to the line in Porto Recanti, beating nine breakaway rivals in the sprint to the line.

The only other comparable success was Liquigas’ win in the team time trial.

“The organisers were wrong, they should have invited more Italian riders. I would have called on Visconti and Riccò,” said Moser, referring to the captains of the ISD Neri and Ceramica Flaminia squads.

“In my day there were many more Italian teams. There were rather less foreigners. I think this was a mistake of those who organised the race. I understand that there are regulations to be met, but to not invite two former pink jersey wearers as Riccò and Visconti has been a mistake.”

Riccò finished second overall in the 2008 race and also won two stages plus the best young rider classification. One year previously, he nabbed a stage victory plus sixth overall in the race.

However he has been a very controversial rider, due both to his positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France, and also his general abrasive attitude. He and his team had expected a place in this year’s Giro lineup but were passed over by the organisers.

Zomegnan feels that there are valid reasons why he is not there. “When Moser organises a race, he can invite who he wants,” he said. “The exclusion of Riccò? There are reasons. If someone is left out it is because they had no right to participate in this Giro. We put Riccò into quarantine. In the past we trusted someone and were disappointed. In his case we decided to wait a reasonable period of time.”

Visconti’s exclusion is unrelated to that; his team were relying on a wildcard place and while they performed aggressively in the previous edition of the Giro, Zomengan felt that there were more deserving squads.

The news was a big disappointment to Visconti, and also to their climber José Rujano. He finished third overall in 2005, won a stage and took the mountains classification. He won the Tour de Langkawi earlier this season and said that he could win the Giro.

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