Androni Giocattoli's Jose Serpa wants a top five in May's Giro d'Italia
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Androni Giocattoli's Jose Serpa wants a top five in May's Giro d'Italia

by Jered Gruber at 7:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Colombian climber hopes to continue incredible start to the 2011 season

With less than three months of racing completed in the 2011 season, Androni Giocattoli's Jose Serpa, has put together a series of results that would make any rider drool. Two victories (Stage 2 of Tour de San Luis and Giro del Friuli), two second place overall finishes (Giro di Sardegna and Tour de San Luis), four runner-up finishes in stages of the Giro di Sardegna and the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria, and a third place on a stage at Reggio Calabria. Sizzling is a word that comes to mind for the rider who has spent his entire professional career in Gianni Savio's teams.

2011 has seen not only the 31 year old Colombian's best ever start, but perhaps his best ever season already. Unfortunately, up until his victory at last weekend's Giro del Friuli, much of the attention he was getting for his sterling start was directed at his unbelievable string of second places.

The climbing specialist, who can also handle himself well over seemingly all terrains, admits to Cigesma that his runner up frenzy was "becoming a curse for me."

The curse didn't last too long though, and on a terrible early spring day in northeastern Italy, Serpa got the better of another early season standout, Katusha's Pavel Brutt, in a two-up sprint.

Afterwards, Serpa was pleased to stand atop the podium again.

"I finally came out alright. I had the support of the team and could achieve a victory that has special meaning for me."

While his early results have been unquestionably impressive, on the scale of important races, the likes of Friuli, San Luis, Reggio Calabria, and Sardegna aren't races that make legends. However, in less than two months, Serpa will start a race that could take his name into the limelight of the greats: the Giro d'Italia.

Considering the leap the Colombian has made over the winter, there's no question that he'll be a factor in May's lap of Italy, and he believes the same.

"It is a very hilly course, which will suit me perfectly. I have plenty of stamina and think I can play a big role. Right now, I think I can finish in the top five, although there will be an excellent turnout."

A top five at the Giro would be a sensational finish for Serpa, especially considering the talent pool that has their eyes set on the first Grand Tour of the year: Contador, Menchov, Sastre, Nibali, Rodriguez, and more will all vie for the Maglia Rosa in May.

Before he can chase his destiny around Italy, the 2009 Tour de Langkawi winner will return home to Colombia for the birth of his son, which is set for just over a week from now.

"My wife is pregnant and is scheduled for cesarean delivery on March 19th, so I want to be with her for the birth of my son. This victory is dedicated to them."

After enjoying the happy moment, the Androni Giocattoli leader will have to part ways with his family and return to Italy and see about a possible breakout performance.

"I'll keep training hard in my country with the objective of the Giro in mind. I'll return to Italy a few days after his birth, and after that, I'll only think of the Italian race."



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