Machado gets leadership role in RadioShack squad for Giro d’Italia
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Machado gets leadership role in RadioShack squad for Giro d’Italia

by Conal Andrews at 4:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
McEwen and Hunter to target sprint wins

Tiago MachadoPortuguese rider Tiago Machado is being rewarded for his consistency in stage races with leadership of the Team RadioShack squad in the Giro d’Italia, which begins this Saturday.

The 25 year old has taken several solid results this season, including second in the Giro del Trentino, fifth in the Critérium International, sixth in the Volta Algarve and seventh in Tirreno–Adriatico. RadioShack general manager Johan Bruyneel said that it was time for him to be given a chance to shine in the Italian race.

“We believe in Tiago Machado,” he said. “Tiago is still young, he has a lot to learn but he proved already in his first year with our team that he has everything in him to perform well in hard stage races. Last year he finished seven out-of-ten times in the overall top ten of a stage race. This year he has never missed the top ten. If he can do the same in this Tour of Italy, we will be happy.”

He will be joined by eight others, namely Fumiyuki Beppu, Manuel Cardoso, Philip Deignan, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Yaroslav Popovych, Ivan Rovny and Bjørn Selander. McEwen has taken 12 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and very much wants to add to that tally, while Hunter is also a strong sprinter and has clocked up one stage in the Tour de France and two in the Vuelta a España. The chance to win stages in all three Grand Tours will motivate him.

Deignan is aiming to return to the same form which saw him win a stage and finish ninth overall in the 2009 Vuelta a España while with the Cervélo Test Team.

Machado will be the big leader, though. “Tiago can make a big step forward,” Bruyneel predicts. “He can be one of the protagonists of the Giro. Since we don’t know how he will perform in a race of three weeks we will not put any pressure on him. You can see this as an experiment, but sometimes we’ve been very lucky with similar experiments in the past.”


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