Petacchi and Cunego to lead Lampre-ISD’s Tour de France campaign
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Petacchi and Cunego to lead Lampre-ISD’s Tour de France campaign

by Ben Atkins at 9:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Yellow and green jerseys both in Italian team’s sights

damiano cunegoLampre-ISD will go to next month’s Tour de France with the dual objectives of defending the green jersey with Alessandro Petacchi, and taking the yellow on with Damiano Cunego. The blue and fuchsia team is bringing some of its newly crowned national champions to support both riders in the race, which starts on the Passage du Gois on France’s Vendée coast this coming Saturday.

Despite his lack of success in Grand Tours since taking the 2004 Giro d’Italia, Cunego has declared his intention to try to win the race. Since that Giro victory, he has taken fourth and fifth in his home Tour, but has only managed eleventh in his three appearances at the Tour de France; although that finish did earn him the white, young riders jersey.

A strong performance in the Tour de Suisse, where he was only denied victory on the final day by his less-than-superior time trialling skills, shows that he may well be ready for his best Grand Tour performance in many years.

Petacchi took two stages in last year’s race, while chief rival Mark Cavendish struggled with his rhythm in the early stages. He found himself struggling once Cavendish was up to speed though, but consistent finishing thereafter saw him take the green, points jersey. May’s Giro d’Italia was a similar story, although he did manage to demonstrate that he could get over the climbs better than his Manx rival; both riders quit the race before the big mountains started.

Changes to the points structure mean that intermediate sprints will be more important to the jersey classification; whether this means that Petacchi will find his speed blunted before he reaches the finish though, remains to be seen.

Petacchi will have the wily experience of lead out man Danilo Hondo to guide him into the finishes, while the team will also include newly crowned Slovenian champion Grega Bole and Italian time trial champion Adriano Malori.

Lampre-ISD team for the Tour de France:
Leonardo Bertagnolli, Grega Bole, Matteo Bono, Damiano Cunego, Danilo Hondo, Denys Kostyuk, David Loosli, Adriano Malori and Alessandro Petacchi

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