Damiano Cunego once again targets Tour de France
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Saturday, June 04, 2011

Damiano Cunego once again targets Tour de France

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour de Suisse
 
Is ambitious after specifically aiming for race

Damiano CunegoDamiano Cunego has announced he is again focusing his attention on the overall classification at the Tour de France. The Lampre-ISD rider has many times in recent years seen himself as a contender for the Grand Tours but has come up short, but with three victories to his name so far this season, the Little Prince feels confident ahead of the Grand Depart of the La Grande Boucle.

Speaking on Tuttobici, Cunego said "I’ve had a beautiful spring, with three victories and have always been a protagonist, even when I did not win. I come from a period of training at altitude with the focus now on the Tour of Switzerland and then the Tour de France."

Cunego came to prominence in 2004 when he won the Giro d’Italia at 22 years old. Since then his best performance in a Grand Tour was finishing fourth and fifth in Italy in 2006 and 2007 respectively. His best result in the Tour was also in 2006 when he finished twelfth overall.

Last year the now 29 year old said he would focus on the Ardennes Classics for the 2011 season and then think about a major tour. Victory eluded him in the Classics, although he still managed to rack up top twenty finishes in Liège - Bastogne - Liège and Amstel Gold Race.

Now he has decided the biggest stage race of all will be his objective this summer.

“I’d like to put in a decent performance. Unfortunately in recent years I have not been able to because I had the great Classics for which we need different preparation. Now I am concentrated on the Tour where I will try to do well in the overall classification, or will seek to win some stages.”

Cunego was reportedly offered contracts from Liquigas, Saxo Bank and Astana for this season but opted to stay with Lampre-ISD, a team he is now with for the seventh year.

The team also signed Michele Scarponi as a leader, which proved successful when he finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia behind Alberto Contador. Cunego will hope to emulate his Italian compatriot when the Tour de France kicks off in Vendée on the second of July.

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