Savio provides another second chance to repentant rider
Three years after his epic ride at the Giro d'Italia where he won three stages and the king of the mountains title followed by a positive test for EPO in July that year, Emmanuele Sella is back on track for another good showing in what is set to be an Italian tour for climbers.
His recent third place overall at Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, combined with the win for his neo professional team-mate Yonathan Monsalve, has pleased Androni Gioccatoli team manager Gianni Savio who has picked Sella as a potential successor of Michele Scarponi.
"Le Tour de Langkawi was a great experience for my debut with my new team," Sella told Cyclingnews. "I didn't have my best form yet as I hadn't trained much for this race, unlike Monsalve, who rode under warm conditions in Venezuela.
"I would have liked to know Genting Highlands before climbing it but I'm very satisfied anyway. I felt very good within this team and I want to repay Gianni for the confidence he put in me."
Savio hired Sella from the defunct Continental oufit CarmioOro that didn't receive an invitation to the Giro last year. Sella, 30, only served a one-year ban because he co-operated with investigators but race organiser Angelo Zomegnan wasn't keen to welcome back a rider who had failed a dope test so recently.
However, this year is another story. Sella, Riccardo Riccó and Danilo Di Luca are eligible again while Davide Rebellin remains likely to come back on time and Franco Pellizotti still awaits a final decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his battle against the UCI concerning his biological passport.
One year after the successful returns of Ivan Basso and Scarponi, controversy will be once again in the air at the start in Turin in early May.
"I care a lot about the Giro," Sella said. "I want to do well at other races too but it's at the Giro that I want to demonstrate my real value. I want to win something important after the...
Geox-TMC took to the roads in their new kits ahead of their team presentation scheduled for February 12 in Padova, Italy.
Designed by Diadora in collaboration with the team’s many co-sponsors, the team jersey is black and white with Diadora neon accents, which complement Geox-TMC’s 2011 Fuji Altamira LTD Team Bike, designed using the same colour palette.
Following Geox-TMC’s recent snub by organisers of the Tour de France, the ProContinental outfit is hoping to fill one of two places up for grabs should they do well at Milan-San Remo. Giro d’Italia organiser Angelo Zomegnan will announce the 22 teams selected for the race on March 7, exactly two months before the start in Turin on May 7.
One man many speculated wouldn't be racing in the team's new colours was Denis Menchov, with rumours the Vuelta a España and Giro d'Italia winner was on the move after Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation denied Mauro Gianetti's squad a place in this year's race.
Peter Van Petegem is in talks with Garmin-Cervelo to be a directeur sportif for the team. The Belgian would take the place of Matthew White, who was let go earlier this year.
Van Petegem, 41, would concentrate on his speciality, the Spring Classics. Garmin-Cervelo will have a strong team in the Classics this year, with world champion Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler, Tyler Farrar and Martijn Maaskant.
He confirmed the negotiations with team manager Jonathan Vaughters. “I've been asked to be a team leader for one year, but I fear that would be too much of a good thing,” Van Petegem told Sportwereld.be.
Van Petegem and his wife Angelique Segaert run abed and breakfast, Le Pave, in Horebeke, Belgium. He also serves as race director for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Tour of Flanders.
“I have not only a full time job outside of cycling which I enjoy. There is also our bed & breakfast, and I enjoy my role within the organisation of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Tour of Flanders.”
“I could imagine doing the Spring season, but first I must talk with organiser Wim Van Herreweghe of the Flanders Classics (ed. the organiser of the Tour of Flanders and Omloop). Only then could I go.”
The Belgian turned pro in 1992 with P.D.M., and retired in 2007. His biggest year was in 2003, when he won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He won Flanders and Three Days of De Panne twice in his career, and also won, among others, the Grand Prix E3 Harelbeke, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and Omloop Het Volk.
The Tour of Qatar got underway on Sunday with a 2 kilometre individual prologue in the Doha Cultural Village. Lars Boom (Rabobank) took top honours, with World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Tom Veelers (Skil – Shimano) rounding out the top three.
In these Cyclingnews exclusive videos, Lars Boom talks about his win and how Rabobank will look to defend his leader’s jersey in the coming days.
Meanwhile there are pre-race comments from Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad). Wiggins finished in 29th, while Cavendish crashed. Indications are that he will start stage 1.