Emanuele Sella hopes for a new beginning at Androni Giocattoli
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Emanuele Sella hopes for a new beginning at Androni Giocattoli

by Ben Atkins at 1:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Doping
 
Former Giro d’Italia stage winner wants to return to the top after transitional year with Carmiooro-NGC

Emanuele SellaEmanuele Sella is one of a number of high profile signings to Professional Continental team Androni Giocattoli. The 29-year-old from Casale, in the province of Vicenza, is hoping that the move will allow him to get back to the top after a year’s suspension for using CERA, the third-generation EPO, then riding for a year at Carmiooro-NGC.

“[It was] a year of transition,” said Sella in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, “especially, but everything I needed. I raced only in fits and starts, I struggled to find targets, at times I even let go, all things considered it was difficult.

“I did not win; when I had trained well and the circumstances were in favour of racing I came close to victory. Pity that it was a short period."

With the Carmiooro-NGC team folding at the end of 2010, and Sella looking to move back to a team that would allow him to do the big races once more, Gianni Savio’s Androni Giocattoli team needed replacements for riders like Michele Scarponi, who has left the team.

“Gianni Savio has noticed me, watched me and followed me,” he explained, “he understands me and gave me this opportunity: a great opportunity. Savio calls me, encourages me, stimulates me; and this gives me confidence that perhaps I did not feel before.”

Sella’s first race of the year will be the Tour of Langkawi, in Malaysia, in February, a race where the Androni Giocattoli has traditionally done well. Once returning to Europe, Sella knows which races he will be targeting.

“The Italian calendar,” ha explained, “but in the meantime we expect invitations to the races that matter most to us. From Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and finally the Giro d’Italia.”

Having won three mountain stages and taken the mountains jersey in the 2008 Giro, just before his suspension, Sella will be looking forward to what is regarded as one of the toughest for years.

“It’s a Giro for climbers,” he said. “I like the Giro; it would be good to do it in reverse, the start in Milan and finish in Turin. It’s the race of my heart that‘s really under my skin that I dreamed of as a child. Being there is a dream.”

Even without the departed Scarponi, Sella feels that the Androni Giogattoli has what it takes to make a mark on the race.

"It’s a team of attackers, of climbers and of adventurers,” he said. “There’s [Jose] Rujano, who finished third in the Giro 2005, there are [Yonathan] Monsalve and [Antonio] Santoro, two neo-professionals with high hopes, and there is [Jose] Serpa, who has proved his worth. It should be fun.”

Even at the age of 29, Sella still loves to ride his bike. “Always,” he said. “It 's my passion. And the more I climb, the more I enjoy it. The fun of the fatigue, the landscapes, the solitude."

Having served a reduced ban, due to his cooperating with anti-doping authorities, Sella now wants to put his doping days behind him and look ahead to the rest of his career.

“I made a mistake and I paid for it,” he explained. “Amen, I’ve turned the page and returned to life, with all due humility. Since that day I’ve looked forward with confidence and serenity; and slowly I’m finding my space."

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