Cunego to miss Giro d’Italia, will target Classics and Tour
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Cunego to miss Giro d’Italia, will target Classics and Tour

by Shane Stokes at 7:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne
 
Lampre rider passes on home Grand Tour

Damiano CuengoThe 2004 Giro d’Italia winner Damiano Cunego has confirmed that he will not take part in this year’s edition, deciding instead to focus on the Classics and the Tour de France.

The Lampre rider won the Amstel Gold Race in 2008 and finished third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2006 and 2008. He was also third in Flèche Wallonne in 2008 and 2009, and wants to go better this time round.

Yesterday Cunego confirmed to Cicloweb.it that he would target all three Ardennes Classics, and miss the Giro. Because of his rejigged schedule, he’s likely to miss the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and instead compete in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali then do a period of altitude training. After that, the Giro dell’Appennino will be his final tune-up for the Classics. The Tour de Romandie is a possibility afterwards.

He’ll then rest, and build towards the Tour de France.

Cunego’s best result in the French event came in 2006 when he beat Markus Fothen to win the best young rider classification. At one point he was regarded as a possible Tour winner but never built on his Giro d’Italia victory in 2004.

Instead, he has carved out a career principally based on strong performances in single day events, plus targeted stage wins in Grand Tours. He won the Giro di Lombardia in 2004, 2007 and 2008, and has four stages in the Giro plus two in the Vuelta to his credit.

Earlier this month he took his first victory in over 500 days when he picked up stage two of the Giro di Sardegna. He finished third overall in the race, and was also third in the Montepaschi Strade Bianche last Saturday.

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