Damiano Cunego to return for Vuelta al Pais Vasco
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Friday, April 01, 2011

Damiano Cunego to return for Vuelta al Pais Vasco

by Ben Atkins at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Injury, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
 
Basque race should be good proving ground before the Ardennes classics

damiano cunegoWhile half of the peloton is looking towards the cobbles and bergs of Flanders, the rest is preparing itself for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, which starts on Monday. The race will mark a return to the peloton for Lampre-ISD’s Damiano Cunego, who missed last month’s Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali due to an ear infection.

Having finally given up on adding a second Grand Tour to his 2004 Giro d’Italia, Cunego is targeting the hillier one-day races, and so hopes to be on top form when the Ardennes classics come around later in the month.

"The stages of the Pais Vasco are a good test for Cunego to understand if the otitis has slowed down his preparation ahead of the Ardennes classics,” explained Lampre-ISD director Maurizio Piovani. “The Pais Vasco is a special event for [Francesco] Gavazzi, who gained a magnificent stage victory last year, beating Freire; I expect to see Francesco very competitive.

“Two other riders will be competitive this year,” he added. “[Przemyslaw] Niemiec has been perfect in this early part of the season, and [Aitor] Pérez Arrieta, who is eager to ride on his home roads. [Alfredo] Balloni, [Matteo] Bono and [Denys] Kostyuk are men who will be asked to work for the team and to try to join any breaks.

“Finally, it will be interesting to evaluate the work done up to now by [Andrey] Kashechkin. We will give our best to honour our Basque sponsor Ampo."

Lampre-ISD team for Vuelta al Pais Vasco:
Damiano Cunego, Alfredo Balloni, Matteo Bono, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Denys Kostyuk, Przemyslaw Niemiec and Aitor Pérez Arrieta.

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